[Taxacom] biodiversity databases

Stephen Thorpe s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz
Sun Feb 7 01:18:21 CST 2010

As unusual as it may be, I can see Geoff's point on this one, and I would even like to develop it a little! Today, on Wikispecies, I was working on a taxon of beetles called Stereomerini (http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Stereomerini), and I haven't finished yet adding all the species details. Comparing this to EOL:
(1) EOL doesn't recognise a taxon called Stereomerini;
(2) of the 9 genera, EOL has pages on all of them except the recently described Cheleion and Rhinocerotopsis;
(3) if we look at one of them, Bruneixenus for example, all we get are the names and author/year, no other content! Not even citations to the original description references, let alone subsequent publications that may deal with the taxa. It is pretty obvious that these pages are created automatically from some sort of feed from other biodiversity databases;
(4) the format of the pages is such that they are full of irrelevant "stuff", that detracts from the main information (if there was any!);
(5) lists of subtaxa by themselves mean little without an indication of whose taxonomic opinions are being followed, which sources have been considered, which followed, and which rejected...

Even if payment for contribution isn't the norm on EOL, we still have a great deal of money going to support an infrastructure with very little actual content, and with an obvious free alternative (i.e., Wikispecies) with plenty of straightforward, useful content and links ...


From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Geoff Read [gread at actrix.gen.nz]
Sent: Sunday, 7 February 2010 6:33 p.m.
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] biodiversity databases


Just to be a teeny bit critical, I wonder again (as I did first time I
looked) how does one find a speciality on your site? Shouldn't you put
some structure into the display at  http://www.lifedesks.org/sites/ ?
Group by phyla would be good. And if there's just a more or less empty
shell for an item I don't really want to waste time checking it out, do I?
Like ... Hmmm, what's this? Any good? Oh, it's only embryonic. Damn.
(repeat ad tedium). Can these be flagged?


>>> On 7/02/2010 at 4:47 p.m., "Shorthouse, David" <dshorthouse at eol.org>
> I am an EOL champion and have taken a very bottom‑up approach to
> assisting folks get their wares online. Not only am I a champion of
> EOL, I am championing and developing LifeDesks,
> http://www.lifedesks.org. Folks create and own their own sites,
> develop their own community of contributors, and content flows out to
> EOL as a byproduct of their efforts (optional).


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