[Taxacom] HHDB: hemihomonyms

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Mon Jan 18 11:05:10 CST 2010

Dear Francisco,

On 18 Jan 2010, at 16:38, Francisco Welter-Schultes wrote:

>> I have no idea of how a multinational consortium
>> works (nor do I particularly want to).
> Good choice... okay, it is not that ugly as it sounds. You just have
> to learn how it works, and then you can achieve something. In any
> case a survey is important in such a venture, this has to do with
> internal processes. BHL-Europe programmers are paid by the European
> Union. EU is much buerocracy, and everything you do must be
> justified. You get money, but you have to follow their rules. Telling
> them "sort the results by author, every monkey knows that this must
> be done so" is no option in such an environment. Always follow the
> official way. First compose a survey, then evaluate it, then tell the
> programmers the result. It is your freedom to ask the right
> questions.

Sounds a gruelling process. I guess this is one reason why big  
projects don't scale linearly -- throwing 10x as much money at  
something doesn't get you 10x the results.

>> was the user requests that were dismissed as "out of scope", such as
>> finding documents by country (i.e., geographical indexing).
> This was one of the weak points of the BHL-Europe internal survey.
> Makes little sense to ask people "do you love good pizza?" before
> having checked if you are able to provide it.

But if people want pizza, and you want happy customers, and it'd  
actually not that hard to make pizza, then give them pizza! Geocoding  
is not impossible. I've mined several thousand latitude and longitudes  
from a fairly small sample of BHL articles, and that's without trying  
anything fancy like georeferencing. Feature creep is always an issue,  
but I would have thought being able to answer basic geographic queries  
would be useful.



>> 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).
> That is one of the points BHL programmers need to know.
> Providing tools for connecting information derived from other
> metadata providers is important, creating a portal with opportunities
> of interactions. Attaching true publication dates for digitized
> works, if these dates were published somewhere. Things like these.

> 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

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