[Taxacom] GBIF: perpetuating probably defunct unpublished names

Paul Kirk p.kirk at cabi.org
Sun May 23 06:02:43 CDT 2010

name orthography and authorship data correctly belong in the relevant nomenclator ... fix it there, once, and everyone who 'uses' that name should then link to that source - problem solved.


From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of Walker, Ken
Sent: Sun 23/05/2010 11:24
To: 'David Remsen (GBIF)'; Stephen Thorpe
Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] GBIF: perpetuating probably defunct unpublished names

>- The data published through GBIF are not qualitatively transformed
from the collections where they originate.

But they do.

Look at the authorship of Scolytus scolytus -

In GBIF, EOL and Catalogue of Life 2007 the authorship is incorrectly listed a Wood and Bright 1992:

GBIF:  http://data.gbif.org/species/14616352/

EOL: http://www.eol.org/pages/691357

Catalogue of Life 2007: http://www.catalogueoflife.org/annual-checklist/2007/show_species_details.php?record_id=4242138

However, in ITIS the authorship is corrected listed as (Fabricius, 1775).

The problem began when a mash up was made from the Electronic Catalogue of Curculionoidea website.

It correctly listed the authorship of Scolytus scolytus and cited the publication of Wood and Bright 1992 as the source.  Somehow, the mash up dropped the authorship name and replaced it with the citation name. Then it spread ....

Now, almost every weevil that occurs in North America and was listed in the Wood and Bright 1992 publication has Wood and Bright as the author of the those species: Here is the EOL Scoltyus species list.  Run your eye down the list to see how many species have Wood and Bright 1992 as their authorship:  http://www.eol.org/pages/49702

I sent emails to GBIF and EOL without receiving a reply and so like hitting your head against a brick wall -- I felt better when I stopped.

I am beginning to wonder whether discrete taxon treatment websites are indeed better than those that attempt to do all.


Ken Walker
Museum Victoria
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