[Taxacom] decline and fall of taxonomy

Peter DeVries pete.devries at gmail.com
Wed Jun 17 12:10:02 CDT 2009


It might have been better to say LifeDesks *or something like them*.
I see the form of these electronic documents as something that will change
over time as we learn more and as technology changes. It is helpful if you
organize your data in a way that allows it to be exported into different
formats. Some of the developing standards may change over time, but the data
seems to be formated in a portable way.

FYI: Here is a view of a Semantic Web RDF file that describes an image
gallery for a specimen.

This URL is viewed via the linkeddata viewer site:
http://linkeddata.uriburner.com/about/html/http://gallery.geospecies.org/spec_concept_uuid/84b8badd-b899-40ea-8f89-f39f3048c270/index.rdf

Here is the actual RDF (Safari will not view, but download the image. Try it
in Firefox)

http://gallery.geospecies.org/spec_concept_uuid/84b8badd-b899-40ea-8f89-f39f3048c270/index.rdf

I worked this out with the advice of some in the semantic web community, but
there are probably ways that it could
be improved. One feature is that the image rights are marked-up in a
standard way that is both human and machine
interpretable. In this example, Creative Commons with Attribution.

Respectfully,

- Pete

On Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 1:18 AM, Donat Agosti <agosti at amnh.org> wrote:

>  “A useful first step is to determine if there is a way to allow
> peer-reviewed LifeDesks to be considered the same as a printed publication.
> Otherwise, the very people that we would like to contribute will have no
> professional reason to do so.”
>
>
>
>
>
> Two points: See the discussion on ICZN listserves regarding online
> publications. This will provide you a (non-)answer to it, but at least some
> indication where this debate stands.
>
>
>
> I would get away from LifeDesks but discuss this in a much more generic way
> to come up with guidelines and best practices that would be adopted by the
> ICZN and the community. LifeDesks, Scratchpads you name it might or might
> not fulfill these criteria and might or might not be adopted and used by the
> taxonomists.
>
> The important element is to discuss the electronic publications, which
> should not be done in a gutenbergian sense, that is with having one static
> web page in mind.
>
>
>
> Donat
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>  ------------------------------
>
> *From:* Peter DeVries [mailto:pete.devries at gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Wednesday, June 17, 2009 9:43 AM
> *To:* Bob Mesibov
> *Cc:* Donat Agosti; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>
> *Subject:* Re: [Taxacom] decline and fall of taxonomy
>
>
>
> >What solid evidence is there that the number of working taxonomists has
> been increased by the availability of digital tools? >Or are you simply
> hopeful that this will happen?
>
>
>
> I am a firm believer in "if you build it, they will come"
>
>
>
> Yes, there will be false starts and mistakes, but we can all learn along
> the way.
>
>
>
> The easy availability of information might attract new people and new
> interest to taxonomy.
>
>
>
> Either way, complaining has not appeared to improve funding so we need to
> try a new approach.
>
>
>
> A useful first step is to determine if there is a way to allow
> peer-reviewed LifeDesks to be considered the same as a printed publication.
> Otherwise, the very people that we would like to contribute will have no
> professional reason to do so.
>
>
>
> Respectfully,
>
>
>
> - Pete
>
> On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 11:42 PM, Bob Mesibov <mesibov at southcom.com.au>
> wrote:
>
> Donat, your anecdotal evidence that people are attracted to certain
> projects is very interesting. However every review of taxonomy I have read
> in the past 15 years tells me that the number of working taxonomists is
> decreasing. What solid evidence is there that the number of working
> taxonomists has been increased by the availability of digital tools? Or are
> you simply hopeful that this will happen?
>
> And once attracted, how are new taxonomists going to make a living as
> professionals? Is the number of job openings for taxonomists increasing?
>
> Note that I am talking about taxonomy in the traditional sense: the
> discovery, documentation and classification of life. If you believe that
> taxonomy includes gathering up COI barcodes and building trees with them
> without careful study of the whole organisms, let alone formally naming and
> describing them, then we have another difference of opinion.
>
> --
> Dr Robert Mesibov
> Honorary Research Associate
> Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and
> School of Zoology, University of Tasmania
> Home contact: PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
> (03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195
> Website: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/mesibov.html
>
>
>
>
> --
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> Pete DeVries
> Department of Entomology
> University of Wisconsin - Madison
> 445 Russell Laboratories
> 1630 Linden Drive
> Madison, WI 53706
> ------------------------------------------------------------
>



-- 
---------------------------------------------------------------
Pete DeVries
Department of Entomology
University of Wisconsin - Madison
445 Russell Laboratories
1630 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
------------------------------------------------------------



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