[Taxacom] ICZN Opinions online

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Sat Jan 2 16:37:26 CST 2010


Dear Tony,

Questions are always welcome! Please note however that I'm using the  
Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature as just one example of the  
journals http://biostor.org is processing. I used it as an example  
partly because it's a journal many people on this list are likely to  
make use of (many of the journals in BHL are more taxon-specific).  
Hence, some of your questions imply more focus on BZN than I intended.

On 28 Dec 2009, at 23:21, <Tony.Rees at csiro.au> <Tony.Rees at csiro.au>  
wrote:

> Dear Rod,
>
> Interesting as ever, but raises a few questions (hope you don't  
> mind...)
>
> - How scalable is this approach (i.e. does it depend on manual  
> efforts - whose - how much scope here)

Scalability is mainly a function of how much metadata is available.  
For example, the book "Official lists and indexes of names and works  
in zoology" mentioned by Geoff Read in his post http://markmail.org/message/uo2j3relbmplb74d 
   (see  http://www.worldcat.org/isbn/0853010048 ) lists Opinions in  
volumes 17 to 42. There's enough information (volume and pagination)  
to locate these articles (unfortunately the only title information I  
have for these is "Opinion xxx"). Hence, I've now got 2104 articles  
from BZN in BioStor http://biostor.org/issn/0007-5167 . A good number  
of these would need manual editing to flesh out the titles and  
authors, but with

The main point here is that finding articles doesn't need to be a  
completely manual task (e.g., scanning BHL pages and entering  
metadata), providing that we have sufficient bibliographic metadata  
already available. There are various way of gathering this metadata,  
ranging from people contributing bibliographies, to extracting it from  
literature cited, to collecting it via the OpenURL resolver (if, for  
example, people use it in Firefox, Zotero, or EndNote).

>
> - It is actually more interesting to find all Opinions, etc. dealing  
> with particular taxa - therefore the occurrence of taxon names (and  
> associated information re. status etc.) is really the key for many,  
> perhaps most potential users and cross linking purposes - some/all  
> of this is already avaliable via the ICZN Official Lists and Indexes  
> (though obviously access to the full text via BHL is also relevant)  
> - so maybe the real need is for building electronic taxon indexes to  
> the above (which are currently pdfs I believe), with relevant flags  
> to indicate status and more

It would be great to have the Opionions indexed by taxonomy, for some  
reason this hasn't happened for all the Opinions n BHL.

>
> - How much of this overlaps the scope / planned activities of  
> ZooBank for legacy content (as opposed to future nomenclatorial  
> acts), and are the two approaches similar / compatible / divergent...

I've no idea what ZooBank plan in this area. My focus is making the  
literature discoverable and linkable, I see no conflict with anything  
ZooBank might plan.

>
> Basically as I see it this is a big problem that needs to be solved  
> by appropriately big (or at least scalable) solutions, otherwise we  
> just have a multitude of partial solutions, some better than others,  
> but nothing coherent and synoptic (both prerequesites for any sort  
> of "one stop shop" in my view). Or maybe everything is a  
> contribution and Google does the aggregation for us (as now,  
> really...).

If you mean indexing and linking the Opinions, then this is actually a  
pretty straightforward task that a bit of OCR and regular expressions  
could achieve. If you mean tackling the larger issue of taxonomic  
literature as a whole, then this is obviously a much bigger task...

>
> Also if persons are encouraged to "crowdsource" relevant  
> contributions, it needs to be clear what is the most effective (and  
> durable) avenue for them to do so - in other words, which systems  
> (including what you show) are really experiments / demonstrator  
> projects and which are likely to be long term production systems  
> (with appropriate governance, resourcing, "buy in" from relevant  
> bodies/stakeholders, long term plans and the rest).

This is the elephant in the room, yet I personally doubt that  
"appropriate governance, resourcing, 'buy in' from relevant bodies/ 
stakeholders", etc. is really the issue. Call me cynical, but to my  
mind the greater the focus on these topics the less useful the  
resource. In my opinion the "big-players" in this field, with perhaps  
a one or two exceptions, have spectacularly failed to deliver much of  
real value. I suspect the real driver will be tools that deliver  
actual value to users, i.e., helping us do what we want to do, or  
enabling us to do new things (perhaps things we'd not even though of  
before). I'm not discounting the need to address the hard questions  
about sustainability that you ask, but I think addressing them first  
puts the cart before the horse.

Regards

Rod

P.S. Missing those antipodean summers...


>
> Your comments welcome re any of the above,
>
> Regards and happy new year from
>
> Tony Rees, Australia (and S. hemisphere summer).
>
> ________________________________________
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu 
> ] On Behalf Of Roderic Page [r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk]
> Sent: Thursday, 24 December 2009 9:30 PM
> To: TAXACOM
> Cc: Ellinor Michel
> Subject: [Taxacom] ICZN Opinions online
>
> As part of my efforts to find articles in the Biodiversity Heritage
> Library I've located some 1600 articles in the Bulletin of Zoological
> Nomenclature http://biostor.org/issn/0007-5167
>
> This is still rather incomplete, and the search interface to BioStor
> is pretty rubbish. However, you can browse Opinion by viewing the
> publications of two rather prolific authors:
>
> Opinion http://biostor.org/author/1085
> R V Melville http://biostor.org/author/505
>
> Bibliographic details in BioStor can be edited, so feel free to make
> corrections (you'll need to solve a CAPTCHA before your edits are
> saved). As time permits I'm added "Opinion nnn." to the start of the
> title of opinions, with a view to making them easier to find.
> Unfortunately the local copy of BHL metadata that I'm using doesn't
> have a taxonomic index for Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature
> publications, so Opinions can't be found by searching for names.
>
> At some point it would be fun to link Opinions to the original
> Proposals, e.g. http://biostor.org/reference/2226  to http://biostor.org/reference/2242
>
> Regards
>
> Rod
>
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------
> Roderic Page
> Professor of Taxonomy
> DEEB, FBLS
> Graham Kerr Building
> University of Glasgow
> Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
>
> Email: r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
> Tel: +44 141 330 4778
> Fax: +44 141 330 2792
> AIM: rodpage1962 at aim.com
> Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1112517192
> Twitter: http://twitter.com/rdmpage
> Blog: http://iphylo.blogspot.com
> Home page: http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/rod.html
>
>
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>
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>
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---------------------------------------------------------
Roderic Page
Professor of Taxonomy
DEEB, FBLS
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK

Email: r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Tel: +44 141 330 4778
Fax: +44 141 330 2792
AIM: rodpage1962 at aim.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1112517192
Twitter: http://twitter.com/rdmpage
Blog: http://iphylo.blogspot.com
Home page: http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/rod.html










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