[Taxacom] HHDB: hemihomonyms

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Mon Jan 18 06:29:33 CST 2010


Roderic,

I agree with you that a failure report function alone might not lead 
to substantially better metadata. BHL has recently implemented it, so 
we can see if it helps. I would appreciate some feedback. (And Heimo 
Rainer in Wien, Austria for the botanists). 
In the BHL-Europe consortium I have expressed my voice for a solution 
that non-librarians (users) would be enabled to correct metadata. As 
I said, this was denied. We will prepare a survey in February asking 
users for their needs. I can only recommend that anyone who thinks 
that users should be enabled to correct metadata, should express that 
in that survey. 
Corrections of metadata by users bear also some shortcomings.

> In my 
> efforts to extract articles from BHL (http://biostor.org/ ) I've 
> come across numerous articles on insects that are full of the names 
> of host plants.

Sometimes you will even read statements like: "at that locality we 
found genus X", and it is unclear whether a plant or an animal was 
meant!

Thinking twice about it I think that defining works as purely 
botanical or zoological could cause more damage that it might help. 
In the ICZN Code there is a rule that a name which was not used after 
1899 can be suppressed/declared a nomen oblitum (Art. 23.9). This 
means that it is important to record every source where such a name 
was just mentioned. As you said, a zoological name could be mentioned 
in a botanical work. Accompanying fauna in a habitat or so. 

> BHL content provides numerous challenges, but the notion that  
> devolving key tasks to librarians will help doesn't fill me with 
> confidence.
I agree. Again: in February we are going to prepare a detailed user 
requirement survey. My recommendation to participate.

Francisco
(BHL-Europe and AnimalBase)



University of Goettingen, Germany
www.animalbase.org



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