[Taxacom] HHDB: hemihomonyms

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Mon Jan 18 09:15:16 CST 2010

Dear Francisco,

>> 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.

Not quite ;) I guess I view user requirements gathering a little like  
this: http://tinyurl.com/y8lpvl3

>> 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.

This again is too library-centric. Library catalogues are but one  
source of bibliographic metadata. Arguably bibliographies constructed  
by the scientific community (and I include lists of literature cited  
in articles) far exceed what libraries can offer (especially as  
libraries don't deal with articles).

>> 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.

Yes, you are right, I have no idea of how a multinational consortium  
works (nor do I particularly want to). I don't envy your task at all.

I actually agree that "taxonomists are not necessarily our [BHL's]  
main audience". This is inevitable, given the huge range of material  
being covered by the project, and the relatively small size of the  
taxonomic community. Indeed, BHL's content is a potential gold mine  
for ecologists, parasitologists, and anybody interested in organismal  



> Francisco
> University of Goettingen, Germany
> www.animalbase.org
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Roderic Page
Professor of Taxonomy
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK

Email: r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
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