[Taxacom] HHDB: hemihomonyms

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Mon Jan 18 08:30:26 CST 2010

If we don't ask people what they need, how then can we know that? 
Just listening to Heimo and me (being the only taxonomists in this 
vernture) does not work, you can believe me. You must know, these 
are pure librarians, they have no idea about what users need. A 
library provides books, that's all. They have no idea for what users 
will need them. They have no idea how and why these books are 
read. Can you imagine what they will do if nobody tells them what is 
needed? If users will not tell them "sort the monographs in a result 
set by author and year" - you know what they will do? They will sort 
the results arbitrarily. They would not even know that it is 
necessary to have one single catalogue for the BHL research. And 
certainly they would not pay anything for creating such a catalogue. 
If a book is not there, the user can go to the next library and look 
for the book there. We don't care.

> BHL's data (both images and metadata) are open, so people like me 
> will not wait around for committees to survey "user requirements."
Really cool. We should not ask what people need, just offer something 
and then everything will be fine.

> we will get the data, clean it, and do stuff with it. 
Also very cool. You will get the data. After having searched in 65 
different online catalogues.

> If somebody in BHL-Europe "denies" the idea of user-contributed 
> metadata, they are clearly out of touch with what is going on in the 
> wider world   
Man, almost everyone in BHL has denied that. There are even voices 
saying "taxonomists are not necessarily our main audience". You seem 
to have no idea how a multinational consortium works.


University of Goettingen, Germany

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