[Taxacom] The role of ADBC (NSF nationaldigitizationsolicitation) in the larger digitization context:a beginning, not the end

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Wed Sep 29 16:04:13 CDT 2010


really? I would have thought that properly done revisions are the basis for 
'properly managed collections' ...




________________________________
From: Hans Henderickx <cavexplorer at gmail.com>
To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>; JOCQUE Rudy 
<rudy.jocque at africamuseum.be>; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: Thu, 30 September, 2010 9:47:16 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] The role of ADBC (NSF nationaldigitizationsolicitation) 
in the larger digitization context:a beginning, not the end

Stephen,

Properly managed collections are the base of 'properly done revisions'.

Hans

----- Original Message ----- From: "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
To: "JOCQUE Rudy" <rudy.jocque at africamuseum.be>; <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 10:22 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] The role of ADBC (NSF nationaldigitizationsolicitation) 
in the larger digitization context:a beginning, not the end


Hi Rudy and others,
There are always SOME benefits from any initiative, the question is whether
those benefits are sufficient to justify the costs, or whether the resources
would be better put elsewhere. My perception is that there is a huge amount of
resources currently going into databasing initiatives - both collections data
and biodiversity data, but the benefits of it all are modest at best. Also, in
my experience, family-level IDs are not necessarily any "easier" than
species-level IDs, and the collections I have seen typically have things like
boxes of unsorted psyllids that are a mixture of psyllids and psocids (wrong
order!), and certainly lots of nominally unsorted FAMILY-idae that are in fact a
mixture of unrelated families. The first task of any taxonomic revision is
generally to remove all the wrong taxa in the loan (it is more difficult to find
all the right taxa in the non-loan!) At the end of the day, there is no
short-cut, quick-fix alternative to publishing the results of a properly done
revision, and THAT is where most resources and taxonomist time should be put ...
Cheers,
Stephen


________________________________
From: JOCQUE Rudy <rudy.jocque at africamuseum.be>
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: Thu, 30 September, 2010 12:49:04 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] The role of ADBC (NSF national digitizationsolicitation)
in the larger digitization context: a beginning, not the end

Stephen comments remind me of the beginning of the computer era. You did not
realize how they would change your life until you started to use them. And it is
a big mistake to think that only specimens that have been identified (to
species) have to be databased. Data on those that are known to family, or even
order, can be very informative and are an essential part of these databases.


We have medium sized collections (250 000 samples) of African invertebrates
non-insects and everything has been databased and 4/5 georeferenced. We now
wonder how we were able to work without that database.


1. You precisely know what you have. We have for instance 81 173 samples of
arachnids and I know precisely how many specimens there are (325126) . I can
tell you for instance in a few seconds what families we have from Kenya
collected above 2000 m. Requests about the holdings for further study can be
answered in seconds.
2. It is extremely easy and time saving to export the data in any format you
want; for publication or whatever other reason to distribute information. No
more typing mistakes.

3. It is easy to make maps and see patterns once your locality database is
georeferenced and infer from that expected distributions which can be important
in planning fieldwork.


By mapping distributions of large genera we recently realized that miombo
vegetation in Africa has its own very specific fauna different from what is
found in other woodland formations. Something we would never have realized if
the bulk of the data had not been databased.

4. It becomes quite simple to organize and follow up loans .

Etc.



Rudy JOCQUÉ
Royal Museum for Central Africa
Department of African Zoology
Leuvensesteenweg 13
3080 Tervuren, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 769 54 10 Fax : +32 2 769 56 95

JOURNAL OF AFROTROPICAL ZOOLOGY
____________________________________

A peer reviewed journal on Africa's fauna
without page charges
http://www.africamuseum.be/research/publications/rmca/journals/JAZ



-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Stephen Thorpe
Sent: 29 September 2010 01:41
To: Robert Guralnick; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] The role of ADBC (NSF national digitizationsolicitation)
in the larger digitization context: a beginning,not the end

when I first glanced at this post, I thought it was about something that I
support, namely the digitization of taxonomic LITERATURE, but now I see it is
just another collections databasing initiative, which I have some reservations
about. In my experience (which may be somewhat parochial?) is that collections
contain two things, (1) reliably identified material; and (2) the rest (which is

usually most of it). Now, only (1) is useful, but it became (1) by way of being
examined in the context of a taxonomic revision, the results of which were
published. So, it seems to me that the reliable data is already published, and
what isn't already published is unreliable. Hence, I cannot really see the point

of collections databasing initiatives ...

Stephen




________________________________
From: Robert Guralnick <Robert.Guralnick at colorado.edu>
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: Wed, 29 September, 2010 12:24:48 PM
Subject: [Taxacom] The role of ADBC (NSF national digitization solicitation) in
the larger digitization context: a beginning, not the end

Dear Taxacomers ----

As you know, NSF has released a solicitation to digitize the nation's
biological and paleontological collections (
http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2010/nsf10603/nsf10603.htm). The ADBC solicitation
from NSF represents a tremendous opportunity to begin the process of
digitizing our nation's biodiversity and paleodiversity collections. We
believe tremendous progress will be made over the multi-year time span of
the ADBC program, leading to a very significant increase in digital and
mobile holdings. Yet, we caution the community to not make the mistake of
overestimating OR underestimating what ADBC can do. ADBC should been seen
as a starting point for the enormous task of digitizing our natural
heritage, not the sole solution. We argue below that the community must use
ADBC to leverage other opportunities and work towards an inclusive view of
supporting multiple collections communities.

ADBC came out of a community-led process that has its roots in a set of
reports that assess the state of federally held collections. The
Interagency Working Group on the Scientific Collections report (
http://www.nescent.org/wg/digitization/images/d/d1/Collections2.pdf)
determined a compelling need for "the creation of an online clearinghouse of
information about Federal scientific collections". A subsequent NSF
Scientific Collections Survey (
http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2009/nsf09044/nsf09044.pdf) concluded that a key
need is "coordination and interoperability of data networks critical for
effective use of collections in research." Federal agency support led to
two workshops held at NESCent to develop a strategic plan (
http://digbiocol.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/digistratplanfinalv1.pdf) for a
national digitization effort. This strategic plan led to ADBC, but the aims
and objectives of the plan are much wider and more ambitious.

To be successful, a national digitization effort must do more than just
capture collections data. It must generate tools to access and mobilize
these data and build user communities around the data without simultaneously
diverting critical resources from the care and maintenance of the
collections themselves. ADBC will address some of these needs, but
digitization of biological and paleontological collections will need to be
pursued through Biological Research Collections grants and other
systematics, survey, and biodiversity-based granting mechanisms. Existing
and new projects funded in programs such as Advances in Biological
Informatics and the burgeoning numbers of cyberinfrastructure programs will
address the technological pieces of the puzzle needed to increase efficiency
rates, data improvements, and data mobilization.

ADBC is not the only game in town at NSF for biological digitization, and
NSF is not the only mechanism to support the larger mission of completing
the digitizing task. The Institute for Museum and Library Science (IMLS)
may support digitization efforts, as might other federal funding agencies
(e.g., National Institute of Health, Department of the Interior via USGS,
National Biological Information Infrastructure). Opportunities abound to
use ADBC as a springboard to approach foundations that may want to support
such efforts. Partnerships with private industry are also well worth
considering.

Our conclusion is that we should be operating as a community, not only to
develop the best set of proposals for ADBC but also to address the ultimate
challenge: completing the digitization of all of our nation's natural
heritage in the next ten years. A Home Unifying Biocollections (HUB) and a
set of Thematic Collections Networks (TCNs) is a start, but they will not be
enough for success. We need to harness ADBC as a flash point to catalyze
our efforts with other agencies and potential funders through which we can
begin to assemble a broader view of the potential opportunities for our
community. ADBC is a rare opportunity to leverage a strong federal focus on
the digitization of biological collections and, most importantly, to
mobilize the community to do it the right way.

We appreciate all the comments, thoughts, etc. that you can muster here. We
want your feedback! Feel free to reply or go here for many more community
oriented posts at http://nsfadbc.wordpress.com.

Best regards,

Rob Guralnick, University of Colorado Boulder
Christopher Norris, Yale University/SPNHC
David Bloom, VertNet
_______________________________________________

Taxacom Mailing List
Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom

The Taxacom archive going back to 1992 may be searched with either of these
methods:

(1) http://taxacom.markmail.org

Or (2) a Google search specified as: site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom

your search terms here




_______________________________________________

Taxacom Mailing List
Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom

The Taxacom archive going back to 1992 may be searched with either of these
methods:

(1) http://taxacom.markmail.org

Or (2) a Google search specified as: site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom
your search terms here


________________________________________
29/9/2010 - Filtered through antispam by ICT


_______________________________________________

Taxacom Mailing List
Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom

The Taxacom archive going back to 1992 may be searched with either of these
methods:

(1) http://taxacom.markmail.org

Or (2) a Google search specified as: site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom
your search terms here




_______________________________________________

Taxacom Mailing List
Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom

The Taxacom archive going back to 1992 may be searched with either of these 
methods:

(1) http://taxacom.markmail.org

Or (2) a Google search specified as: site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom  
your search terms here

__________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature 
database 5490 (20100929) __________

The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

http://www.eset.com


      


More information about the Taxacom mailing list