[Taxacom] Sherborn & literature code challenge

Richard Petit r.e.petit at att.net
Fri Sep 2 11:56:56 CDT 2011


I apologize for the oversight as I use animalbase quite often. Although it 
is a "data base" I do not think of it as such as it is primarily, as you 
state, pre-1790. You do include some 19th Century works.  Your manner of 
selectively listing taxa is misleading. As an example, you have Gray, 1834 
for which you even link to BHL. Great!  However, your site, seemingly 
definitively, states that the number of new taxa in that paper "=2".  You do 
list the names of 2, but what happened to the other dozens described in that 
same paper?  Anyone looking for a Gray 1834 name could find that statement 
on animalbase and not bother to check the actual paper, assuming it was 
published elsewhere.  This is only one example as this same partial listing 
occurs with other works.

My guess is that the Helix was picked up from a list of European species and 
the Terebra from an ICZN Opinion, and no one actually checked the paper (or 
even bothered to run a search for "Gray 1834" in Index Animalium, in which 
taxa in this 1834 paper could be easily identified.

Do not misunderstand me. I am a fan of animalbase, but like all of us, it is 
imperfect.  This particular type of imperfection should be corrected.



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Francisco Welter-Schultes" <fwelter at gwdg.de>
To: "Chuck Miller" <Chuck.Miller at mobot.org>; "Neal Evenhuis" 
<neale at bishopmuseum.org>; "Chris Thompson" <xelaalex at cox.net>; "taxacom" 
<taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>; "Richard Petit" <r.e.petit at att.net>
Sent: Friday, September 02, 2011 12:11 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Sherborn & literature code challenge

> Dick,
>> I have yet to find any on-line database where one can find not only
>> the original combination for a taxon but also author and date (which
>> is necessary to locate the original description and therefore know
>> what a the name represents).
> For the pre-1790 names see
> http://www.animalbase.org
> Contains original combinations, authors, true dates and links to the
> original sources, in digitised versions provided by public servers,
> often BHL or our own scans.
> We added also comments if our own data deviated from those of
> Sherborn's index (we screened Sherborn and the original sources
> simultaneously, about 45,000 names have been checked by this method).
> Francisco
> University of Goettingen, Germany
> www.animalbase.org 

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