[Taxacom] Mystery taxonomic compilation on the web...

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Tue Nov 30 15:49:01 CST 2010

Chris Thompson wrote:

>Yes, that looks like something from Joel, but it illustrate an important
>issue, the lack of attribution.
>This is one of the major problems with the "wiki" concept.
>People plagiarizing information, that is, taking information from somewhere
>else and presenting it without attribution.

That is not something inherent to the "wiki" 
concept. In fact, for one rather important 
example, it is exactly the opposite of 
Wikipedia's rules on attribution; anything that 
appears in Wikipedia and is NOT attributed to a 
reliable source is subject to immediate removal 
by any editor.

Whether anyone chooses *to* remove unsourced 
material is a matter of practice, not policy. 
That's going to be an issue with any such 
resource, and not truly unique to wikis, either 
(just recently, for example, on the palynology 
listserv someone asked for confirmation of a 
"fact" printed in a textbook, and it does not 
appear to be confirmable - it is a claim by the 
text's authors with no outside corroboration 
offered - how is that effectively any different?)

As a further example, just look at the bottom of 
the Wikipedia entry for Syrphidae:

    1. ^ a b c d e f g "Hover fly". Encyclopædia 
Britannica Online. 2009. 
Retrieved 2009-12-5.
    2. ^ a b c d "Hoverfly". Hutchinson 
Encyclopedia. Helicon Publishing. 2009. 
Retrieved 2009-12-6.
    3. ^ a b Aguilera A, Cid A, Regueiro BJ, 
Prieto JM, Noya M (September 1999). "Intestinal 
myiasis caused by Eristalis tenax". J. Clin. 
Microbiol. 37 (9): 3082. PMID 10475752. PMC 
    4. ^ Dictionary of Ichthyology; Brian W. Coad 
and Don E. McAllister at ww.briancoad.com
    5. ^ Whish-Wilson PB (2000). "A possible case 
of intestinal myiasis due to Eristalis tenax". 
Med. J. Aust. 173 (11-12): 652. PMID 11379520. 
    6. ^ Barkemeyer, Werner. "Syrphidae 
(hoverflies)". Biodiversity Explorer. South 
Africa: Iziko Museum. 
Retrieved 2009-12-11. [dead link]
    7. ^ Thompson, F. Christian (1999-08-19). 
"Flower Flies". The Diptera Site. United States 
Department of Agriculture. 
Retrieved 2009-12-11.

[edit] External links

     * Hoverfly - index to scholarly articles
     * A web-site about Dutch hoverflies
     * All About Hoverflies
     * Hoverfly Recording Scheme - UK Dipterists Forum
     * Syrphidae species in Europe, with photos, range maps and literature
     * Large numbers of Syrphidae photos
     * Northwest Europe Hoverflies - archived at The Wayback Machine
     * Photographs of World Hoverflies from Japan, in English
     * Diptera.info Picture Gallery
     * a hover fly, Allograpta obliqua on the UF / 
IFAS Featured Creatures Web site

[edit] Species lists

     * Nearctica
     * West Palaearctic including Russia
     * Australasian/Oceanian

This does not look to me as if Wikipedia editors 
are not giving proper attribution, and there seem 
to be quite a number of links to places where one 
can do additional fact-checking. I'm curious what 
wiki(s) you are thinking of that simply present 
data without attribution.


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314        skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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