[Taxacom] Sherborn & literature code challenge

Richard Petit r.e.petit at att.net
Fri Sep 2 13:17:04 CDT 2011


I am familiar with "extracting taxa". I think you are familiar with my paper 
listing all of the molluscan taxa of the three G. B. Sowerbys (4,506 nomina 
treated).  A similar paper on John Edward Gray is now in review but treats 
only 2,582 nomina.

You are correct in stating that the correct spelling is Helix codringtonii 
and it is on page 67.

My apologies for not being a sophisticated enough user to have noticed the 
banners you referenced. They will be looked for in the future.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Francisco Welter-Schultes" <fwelter at gwdg.de>
To: <fwelter at gwdg.de>; "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 2:46 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Sherborn & literature code challenge

> Dick,
> extracting names from original sources must be done manually. This is
> a tremendous work, you can hardly imagine how much time this costs.
> We decided to proceed in the timeline from 1757 onwards and finally
> reached the 1790s, after about 15 years of work (total of all team
> members). In this time we extracted and verified some 45,000 names. I
> could also tell you how much the German Science Foundation paid for
> that. Would be interesting to compare that with Sherborn's salary.
> It took Sherborn 43 years to extract 500,000 names. So he was more
> efficient than we have been (partly because he did not compare with
> another great index published 100 years ago, partly because he worked
> more hours per week, partly because he skipped names of varieties and
> works that would have costed too much time of work per name, partly
> because he was more professional, it took us time to teach our
> students in the team).
> I explain this for you to see that it is not easy to quickly extract
> names of Gray 1834 ("and other such works").
> Occasionally I have verified some mollusc names I needed for my
> work, this is why you see works in the 1800s with only a few names
> checked, the others still missing.
> When a work has been completed and ALL names should be in the
> database, you will see an icon indicating that all names were
> extracted in the AnimalBase standard. If not, then the work is still
> incomplete.
> I'd wish we had an IT expert so that we could take your suggestion
> and modify the form in which the listed new names are presented, by
> adding a comment that the names are still incomplete.
>> My guess is that the Helix was picked up from a list of European
>> species
> The entry was last modified by myself from 09 Jan 2001 (you can see
> that at the bootom of the summary page of the species taxon), and
> there is a banner below that data that the name was entered from
> secondary sources. So it is definite that the original was not
> checked. You can also see which secondary sources I used
> The entry is incorrect, published on p. 7 was Helix Codringtonii.
> I gave references on the species taxon summary page from which
> sources I took the spelling. The source of the misspelling
> codringtoni was Wenz & Zilch 1959-1960: 720.
>> and the Terebra from an ICZN Opinion, and no one actually
>> checked the paper
> Look at the bottom o that page: the last modification of the entry
> was made by myself on 20 May 2008, and the original source was
> checked. You should be able to see that banner. Either there is this
> banner or the other banner.
>> (or even bothered to run a search for "Gray 1834" in
>> Index Animalium, in which taxa in this 1834 paper could be easily
>> identified.)
> If Sherborn was consulted there appears a note in the comment with a
> reference to Sherborn. This is not so here, so Sherborn was
> definitely not checked.
> I leave the incorrect entry Helix codringtoni Gray, 1835 some more
> days in the database for you to check this again, and then I will
> modify the entry. You can also click on "Show history of this page",
> there you will see the backups of the previous entries. Can be
> helpful to understand the source of an error.
> Thanks for bringing this to my attention, I don't know why I
> overlooked to check the original source. The book was digitised
> shortly after, in 2007. This was why I had not checked the name.
>> Do not misunderstand me.
> Anything that contributes to improve something is appreciated.
> Francisco
> University of Goettingen, Germany
> www.animalbase.org 

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