[Taxacom] BHL survey: scan quality

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Fri May 7 12:27:08 CDT 2010

Dear Taxacomers,

thank you all so much for having participated in the BHL Survey 2010. 
We obtained more than 1000 answers, of which more than 60 % were by 
taxonomists. This gives us really good preconditions to continue our 

The next step for us consists in evaluating the results. We will talk 
about these in our BHL/BHL-Europe conference in Vienna (Austria) at 
the end of this month and then we are certainly going to present the 
results for all of you in an internet page that we will set up so 
that you can see what the participants answered.

I have one question. There is one result in the survey that I do not 
understand. When we were asking "how satisfied are you with the 
following functions of BHL" the levels of agreement with all 
functions were surprisingly high. The differences were only 
finely tuned. It is noce to get such a positive feedback, but on 
the other hand this makes it more difficult to improve our 
service. One of the highest levels of agreement (73 %) was recorded 
for the scan or image quality. Being a taxonomist myself I know that 
the scan quality (for example when I look up plate figures) provided 
by Smithsonian, Natural History Museum London, Harvard and Missouri 
Botanical Garden are relatively low. Does the high level of agreement 
with the scan quality mean that plate figures are not needed for your 
work, only the texts? Or does it mean that you are happy that 
anything is provided at open access at all, so that you did not dare 
to complain about the quality? Or was a misunderstanding provoked by 
the wording of the bullet point ("The scan or image quality is fine" 
- Strongly agree, Agree, Neither agree or disagree, Disagree, 
Strongly disagree)?

I anticipate that there will be discussions about this point in the 
meeting in Vienna. Since I have no idea for an answer, we would be 
left in speculations, so I have decided to ask you. 

Thank you for your precious help.

University of Goettingen, Germany

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