[Taxacom] Google, Wikipedia, and EOL

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Wed Sep 2 04:06:20 CDT 2009


Wikipedia has been automatically populated by "bots" for some time  
now. There are bots that go through and add DOIs, for example, check  
for spelling, add entries, etc. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ 
WPBots for a list). The Mediawiki software underlying Wikipedia has an  
API for this purpose. Leaving aside the negotiations that would be  
involved, it would be straightforward to insert pages for every  
"accepted" taxon into Wikipedia.



On 1 Sep 2009, at 22:53, Richard Pyle wrote:

>> I am currently sitting here
>> putting todays Zootaxa references on Wikispecies, e.g.
>> http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Arsenurinae#References )
> I think this says it all...if, by "putting" you mean typing content  
> on a
> keyboard.  We're moving towards a direction where journals like  
> Zootaxa will
> produce XML output that can be automatically harvested by the likes  
> of EOL,
> following TDWG standards, and put into proper context without a single
> keystroke by any human.  Will Wikispecies or Wikipedia ever be able to
> populate themselves automatically in that fashion?  Will they be  
> able to
> automatically update a piece of metadata for a specimen in my Museum  
> after
> it's been updated on our local server?  I can easily imagine a  
> scenario
> where EOL can do that; but I'm not so sure the Wiki model will work  
> that
> way.
> In my mind, efforts like EOL play the role of content
> aggregators/organizers, and Wikixxxx plays the role of providing an
> interface for content that is best added and edited by human fingers  
> on a
> keyboard.
> Aloha,
> Rich

Roderic Page
Professor of Taxonomy
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK

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