[Taxacom] The Semantic Web and LOD would allow everyone to contribute without needing a huge "ministry of truth"

Chris Thompson xelaalex at cox.net
Mon Nov 15 14:29:47 CST 2010

Sorry, Pete,

But while that may appear to be "very democratic," etc., but

the hallmark of Science, as opposed to everything, is PEER-REVIEW.

Yes, we do know there are problems with peer-review, but it remains the only 
mechanism to ensure that the public gets the BEST and most appropriate 
SCIENCE. [that has remained true since Henry Oldenburg started publishing 
the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1665]

And the other thing that peer-review mandates, is version control. That is, 
once the process is done, that version becomes a fixed point in the 
Scientific process.

Your approach sound much like the wikipedia, wikispecies, etc., where 
anything can be throw out online and the Public may think it is Science.

Yes, ICZN does not require peer-review. And only the minimal scientific 
standards. So, your suggestion would allow everyone to contribute at least 
in terms of names and nomenclatural acts once the ICZN recognizes and it is 
should digitial / online publication. But it will not serve the Public well.

There is an old adage from the early days of computers, GIGO. Garbage IN, 
Garbage OUT. This remain very true today, so SCIENCE needs to be careful or 
it will lose its respect from the Public.

Oh, well ...


-----Original Message----- 
From: Peter DeVries
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2010 2:56 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] The Semantic Web and LOD would allow everyone to 
contribute without needing a huge "ministry of truth"

On of the features of the semantic web and the Linked Open Data cloud is
that they allow anyone who can post markup data to a web server to

You  simply markup your data at a particular URL and then ping the semantic
web to tell everyone that it is there.


This would allow individual institutions and individuals to contribute their
own data.

Very democratic.

If you don't agree with a particular contribution then just choose to ignore
it in your analysis.


- Pete

Pete DeVries
Department of Entomology
University of Wisconsin - Madison
445 Russell Laboratories
1630 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
TaxonConcept Knowledge Base <http://www.taxonconcept.org/> / GeoSpecies
Knowledge Base <http://lod.geospecies.org/>
About the GeoSpecies Knowledge Base <http://about.geospecies.org/>

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