[Taxacom] Species Pages - purpose

Lyn.Craven at csiro.au Lyn.Craven at csiro.au
Wed Feb 4 03:45:57 CST 2009

The big negative about this approach is "information that can be corrected and/or confirmed by experts", i.e., who selects the expert?    I thought about contributing to Wikipedia but when I realised that anyone could rewrite my text, I thought why bother.   Putting up a (searchable) pdf that cannot be tampered with has some value (and if someone disagrees then they can put up their own version), but I'm not sure that putting up something that might only last a few weeks before some zealot gets to it is worth the time investment.

We could set up a committee to manage it all but science by committee will be about as effective as any other committee.

Lyn Craven

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of murrellze
Sent: Wednesday, 4 February 2009 3:39 AM
To: Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Cc: Mike Dallwitz
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Species Pages - purpose

I disagree with Dallwitz's portrayal of species pages as "simplified and attractive information about taxa easily available to casual users". If done appropriately, species pages can provide information that can be corrected and/or confirmed by experts and then used by other scientists, students of science, corporations, decision makers and "casual users". 
The WWW provides us with a way to convey vast amounts of information, but with more than 10 billion websites, it is difficult to know what is "good" information. It is up to the scientific community to provide quality information. This quality information can then be used in various efforts, from conservation to helping inform the direction of future research.

Zack Murrell

Mike Dallwitz wrote:
> In brief, to make simplified and attractive information about taxa 
> easily available to casual users?
> Mary Barkworth wrote:
>> -For taxa that people often ask about - because we get asked 
>> questions and it is easier to point them to a page with an answer - 
>> but that kind of page might not be the same page as we would make available to colleagues.
>> -To provide ourselves with easy access to information away from our offices.
>> -Make information to others more cheaply.
>> -Make highly illustrated information about taxa available at low cost 
>> and in a place where more people are going to see it than if it is 
>> published in a journal.
>> -To show off what we have done.
>> -Funding sources like it.
> Mike Dallwitz wrote:
>> What purpose do species pages serve? In the original posting (Species 
>> Pages - where are the online descriptions?), Roger Hyam suggested 
>> that they might be used to confirm identifications, but they are 
>> clearly not very suitable for that purpose.

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