[Taxacom] Biodiversity data and ABS

Chris Thompson xelaalex at cox.net
Sat Nov 10 06:00:31 CST 2012


Wonderful, Rod,

That is an useful reference, and a very useful criterion for the quality 
evaluation of data providers.

As one who has struggled with more than 10 percent of the World's known 
biodiversity (Diptera: flies, gnats, midges, mosquitoes, etc.) with my 
Systema Dipterorum [no longer online] and its USDA version / BioSystematic 
Database of World Diptera (see 
http://www.sel.barc.usda.gov/Diptera/biosys.htm), the most important 
indicators are those that reveal how and where the data came from.

We use a couple:
Verification Code: which ranges from 0 to 99, and is an informal indicator 
of where the information came from. The top end of the scale (99) means that 
a person check the original source. And when 99 is used, then the name of 
the person is given in the Authority field.
Then there is the obvious Revision date which indicates the last time the 
record was modified.

But even these fields are not enough. In our new version which I am working 
on, we will separate the Authority field into two, that is, a nomenclatural 
authority and a taxonomic authority. And for taxonomy, there will be an 
indicator for the taxonomy being used.

This is critical for biodiversity databases, as for the users they may not 
be aware of the effects of different classifications.

For example, both Drosophila melanogaster and Sophophora melanogaster are 
both acceptable / valid names depending on whose classification is used; as 
are Aedes aegypti or Stegomyia aegypti.

But the bottom line is as you well know and write, "In my experience our 
performance in this area leaves something to be desired" but that is simply 
due to the very low level of support given to data QUALITY as support flows 
to IT, new and better software to simply reformat old content!

Oh, well ...

Sincerely,

Chris Thompson

-----Original Message----- 
From: Roderic Page
Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2012 6:26 AM
To: TAXACOM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Biodiversity data and ABS

All large data aggregations will have errors. Some will be original with the 
data providers (data is messy), some will arise as part of the aggregation 
process (it is often not easy trying to extract and combine data from 
multiple sources).

There is a nice essay by Ewan Birney entitled "The making of ENCODE: Lessons 
for big-data projects" in Nature http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/489049a (free). 
He argues that large-scale data projects "should really be judged not by 
absolute error rates, but by how quickly they can rectify reported errors."

In my experience our performance in this area leaves something to be 
desired.

Regards

Rod

On 9 Nov 2012, at 14:14, Wolfgang Lorenz wrote:

> Maybe we should ask yet another question: what is the possible damage of
> wrong data published through GBIF? E.g., does it matter that all GBIF data
> on Kenya's ground beetles (Coleoptera Carabidae) are either useless (just
> unidentified "Carabidae") or horribly wrong (palearctic species that have
> never been found in Kenya). The provider was informed almost 2 years ago!
> And what about the damage to the reputation of an identifier who's name is
> falsely associated with those data? Spotting errors is easy with GBIF - 
> but
> then why is it so difficult to get errors corrected?
>
> Greetings,
> Wolfgang
>
> Wolfgang Lorenz, Tutzing, Germany
>
>
> 2012/11/9 Fabian Haas <fhaas at icipe.org>
>
>> Dear Chris,
>>
>> thanks for the response. Actually I cannot define what I mean ;-) since
>> I was pretty much lost what a biodiversity data product could actually
>> be. The paper is about GBIF, EoL and iBOL, and so my idea was that
>> people go to the websites there, download some data and the make
>> something out of it that they can sell.
>>
>> Keeping my question a bit fuzzy also gave me good feed back. There seems
>> to be a market in Environmental Impact Assessments and Planning where
>> planning firms buy such data from mostly national data providers. That
>> could be interesting, and is probably closest to what I thought. Someone
>> also pointed me to ETI, though I am not sure how much eg GBIF data they
>> actually use in the products. I will ask Peter Schalk directly.
>>
>> I do agree with you that on this information level ABS/Nagoya is not
>> relevant, at least I believe so. And yes EoL draws a lot from Content
>> Providers and, like GBIF, moves obligations to them, saying they
>> own/copyright the data we are only distributing things. For use and what
>> no, pls talk to the Content Provider directly.
>>
>> iBOL is a different thing as they deal themselves with real specimens,
>> but collecting and sequencing is done under a MTA and ABS agreement. Atm
>> I cannot envisage a patent on a sequence, its in the public domain for
>> so long, and nothing new, on some software or analyzer that is a
>> different story of course.
>>
>> So yes pls any idea/information on who is paying for Biodiversity Data
>> and doing what with it, is still welcomed!
>>
>> best
>>
>> Fabian
>>
>>
>>
>> On 08/11/2012 22:16, Chris Lyal wrote:
>>> Hi Fabian,
>>>
>>> Can you define what you mean by biodiversity data in this context?  On
>> the face of it, since at least some data about biodiversity - 
>> geographical
>> data, names - are not genetic resources,  they are not covered by ABS
>> regulations or legislation.  One can construct a scneario of their use to
>> locate genetic resources, although I do not know if this has happened, 
>> but
>> that is a rather different issue.
>>>
>>> I would maintain also that morphological descriptions, behavioural data
>> and such like are also not necessarily  based on utilization of genetic
>> resources as defined by the Nagoya Protocol, which take a lot of the EoL
>> content out of ther equation.  When we move on to genetic information 
>> that
>> becomes a different question, of course.
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>> Chris
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> ________________________________________
>>> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [
>> taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] on behalf of Fabian Haas [
>> fhaas at icipe.org]
>>> Sent: 08 November 2012 13:05
>>> Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>>> Subject: [Taxacom] Biodiversity data and ABS
>>>
>>> Hello,
>>>
>>> I am currently working on a paper on Access and benefit Sharing, GBIF,
>>> EoL and others, and Information Sharing. I section will deal with
>>> commercial use of biodiversity data.
>>>
>>> Somehow I am unable to locate concrete commercial examples of the use
>>> biodiversity data. Most seems uncommercial, at least non-profit or
>>> scientific.
>>>
>>> Do you have any ideas? Links, pdfs or key words are welcomed.
>>>
>>> best Fabian
>>>
>>> --
>>>
>>> **********************************************************
>>> fhaas at icipe.org, Extension -2052
>>>
>>> The African Insect Taxonomy Toolkit AITT
>>> http://taxonomy.icipe.org
>>>
>>>
>>> Dr. Fabian Haas
>>> Insect Taxonomist and ABS Specialist
>>> ICIPE - African Insect Science for Food and Health
>>> Duduville Campus, Kasarani
>>> P.O. Box 30772 - 00100
>>> N A I R O B I
>>> Kenya
>>>
>>> Telephone No.   +254 (0)20 8632000
>>> Fax No. +254 (0)20 8632001
>>> Cell Phone      +254 (0)728 132868
>>>
>>> This position is supported by CIM, the Centre for International
>> Migration www.cimonline.de
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>>
>>> 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
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>>
>> --
>>
>> **********************************************************
>> fhaas at icipe.org, Extension -2052
>>
>> The African Insect Taxonomy Toolkit AITT
>> http://taxonomy.icipe.org
>>
>>
>> Dr. Fabian Haas
>> Insect Taxonomist and ABS Specialist
>> ICIPE - African Insect Science for Food and Health
>> Duduville Campus, Kasarani
>> P.O. Box 30772 - 00100
>> N A I R O B I
>> Kenya
>>
>> Telephone No.   +254 (0)20 8632000
>> Fax No. +254 (0)20 8632001
>> Cell Phone      +254 (0)728 132868
>>
>> This position is supported by CIM, the Centre for International Migration
>> www.cimonline.de
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>>
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>>
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> _______________________________________________
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---------------------------------------------------------
Roderic Page
Professor of Taxonomy
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK

Email: r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Tel: +44 141 330 4778
Fax: +44 141 330 2792
Skype: rdmpage
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Blog: http://iphylo.blogspot.com
Home page: http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/rod.html
Citations: http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?hl=en&user=4Z5WABAAAAAJ

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