[Taxacom] taxacom NZ Inventory

Paul Kirk p.kirk at cabi.org
Tue Nov 16 22:39:08 CST 2010

I've just returned from a very pleasant visit to China so I'll attempt to raise the tone ... . My task was to help them to start to build the checklist of the Chinese fungi and my constant mantra was - build the database and the checklist, amongst other things, is a product of this database [sorry Stephen, no wikipedia/wikispecies mentioned in this context]. The database in its simple form contains three types of 'records' - those based on specimens (from living or dead collections of fungi), those based on published data (from the literature) and those based on field observations (dominant for some taxa). Each of these record types has it's own strengths and weaknesses. The import point is that the names of the fungi used in these records are the basis of the checklist (NOT the reverse) and as such, each record provides the supporting evidence Stephen correctly identifies as missing in some 'ink-on-paper' (and database) products and - I might add - most wiki implementations, although these might have some of the significant literature cited (but I'm sure not all checklist building relevant literature). A simple web site built on this database provides direct access to the 'supporting evidence'. The two - web site and ink-on-paper output - go hand in hand. Of course, in the near future the database becomes redundant in the web of data T.B.-L. wants us all to build. When this day arrives I'll abandon all my redundant databases and I hope other will abandon their redundant wikis.


From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of Stephen Thorpe
Sent: Tue 16/11/2010 23:42
To: gread at actrix.gen.nz
Cc: Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] taxacom NZ Inventory

Hi Geoff,
I'm not quite sure whether to interpret your tone as sarcastic or straight up,
but it probably really doesn't matter anyway ...
Let me just clarify that there are a very small number of professional
entomologists whom I have ever had the need to "complain about", and this has
always been reluctantly and in self-defense, so the problems aren't a result of
the complaints, but the complaints are a result of the problems (although it
tends to escalate both ways). As someone who spends most of my time trying to
build a solid and freely available information resource on biodiversity, the
seriousness of an officially endorsed publication on N.Z. beetles which is maybe
25% utter bo!!ocks, and which will probably be widely used and cited, may seem
somewhat greater to me than to most other people? Perhaps you could comment on
whether you see that, assuming that it is true, as either a problem or as
nothing of any importance? And whether you see any value in checklists with no
supporting evidence?

From: Geoff Read <gread at actrix.gen.nz>
To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>; Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: Wed, 17 November, 2010 12:14:55 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] taxacom NZ Inventory

Thanks Stephen,

Interesting reading for all, and a fine demonstration of why the professional
entomologists whose work failings you seem often to complain about have become
wary of your tendency towards erratic and injudicious behaviour. What a talent
you have for getting yourself into strife.  I'm sure everyone can better
understand now why you made the comments you did, and value them appropriately.


The information contained in this e-mail and any files transmitted with it is confidential and is for the exclusive use of the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient please note that any distribution, copying or use of this communication or the information in it is prohibited. 

Whilst CAB International trading as CABI takes steps to prevent the transmission of viruses via e-mail, we cannot guarantee that any e-mail or attachment is free from computer viruses and you are strongly advised to undertake your own anti-virus precautions.

If you have received this communication in error, please notify us by e-mail at cabi at cabi.org or by telephone on +44 (0)1491 829199 and then delete the e-mail and any copies of it.

CABI is an International Organization recognised by the UK Government under Statutory Instrument 1982 No. 1071.


More information about the Taxacom mailing list