[Taxacom] taxacom NZ Inventory

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Wed Nov 17 07:10:45 CST 2010

I've tried to follow the ins and outs of this discussion. My impression
is that Thorpe is critical of a forthcoming checklist because of the
problems he sees with much of the content. As Read has noted, there is
not much to respond on this as the critique is in advance of

The claimed problems in this specific case are, however, general in
nature - that any checklist, database, web pages or other publication
may have some or many errors as noted by others. This being the case I
am not sure what the point being made for this specific case other than
a particular product is, according to Thorpe, going to contain a lot of
erroneous information and it is Thorpe's concern that this will create a
lot of damage by being uncritically accepted by end users (at least that
is my impression of his argument). 

But this problem is also of a general nature - that any publication or
other resource may have that effect. The only usual recourse is to
provide alternatives (which Thorpe appears to be doing with his web
pages). Such alternatives may gain traction or not, but that something
no individual can control. Certainly government science publications in
New Zealand may have an extended reach and impact, but that's life.

These days its easy enough to produce pdf catalogues and for this
instance Thorpe could send his superior version to all the potential end
users (and through the NZ Entomology Society), and if his product is
seen to be superior it will be more widely used (although a checklist
cannot be used more than one can identify the taxa in the first place).

John Grehan 

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Geoffrey Read
Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 5:10 AM
To: Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] taxacom NZ Inventory

> On 16 Nov 2010 at 22:43, Stephen Thorpe wrote:

> The genus Paracymus DOES occur in N.Z., and I did neither say nor
> that it didn't.

I think you did imply that it didn't, but never mind. It just
the difficulty of responding to someone's criticism of an unpublished
which only they have seen. Which is why I think it is unfair to make
criticism public in a forum like this.

I take it Stephen that you now disown authorship of the 2003 checklist I
mentioned which committed the same 'sins' you object to. Namely new
generic records (in that case) quote, "derived from unpublished work by
the authors and the reviewers".

Is there an analogy here with former sinners being the most strict in
enforcing a new religion? I wonder.



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