[Taxacom] Data quality in aggregated datasets

David Patterson david.j.patterson at asu.edu
Wed Apr 24 11:43:50 CDT 2013

I presume that the data will be stored in a network of interconnected
repositories, and that the repositories will be designed very much with
re-use in mind.  Most available repositories don't get us there, but others
(e.g. Data Conservancy) are designed with that objective in mind.

I envisage a network of nodes intervening between repositories and users,
and the nodes (like GBIF and OBIS) take responsibility for standardizing
content, and simplifying access to data atoms.

A commitment to the use of FilteredPush and Annosys would take us a long
way down the interconnectness path that Donald describes.

David Patterson

On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 1:51 AM, Donald Hobern [GBIF] <dhobern at gbif.org>wrote:

> Thanks to Lee Belbin for his comments on this thread.  I believe we all
> recognise the issues and what needs to be fixed.  The real question is how
> we work together to deliver fully-connected solutions.
> We need an interconnected set of processes and tools that enable everyone
> to
> contribute the knowledge and expertise that they have.  We need to ensure
> that every such contribution is preserved and adds to a persistent
> interconnected resource.  Achieving this will definitely depend on
> aggregator-level solutions and consistent data management that applies
> across all taxonomic groups and geographic regions.  It will also involve a
> commitment from us all to work collaboratively to manage digital knowledge
> of biodiversity.  Al relevant data should be stored and preserved for
> posterity without the uncertainty that comes from short-term project
> funding
> and isolated databases.  Everyone should be able to refer reliably and
> stably to every piece of data (every nomenclatural record, every phylogeny
> or classification, every specimen record, every image, every sequence,
> etc.)
> and we should ensure that we capture every contribution to our
> understanding
> of each data item.  This means that every time an expert such as Bob finds
> a
> problem in any data, it is flagged immediately and wherever possible fixed
> immediately, in a way that immediately benefits all other users.
> What the ALA and GBIF and other aggregators have done so far is clearly
> still a long way from this level of interconnectedness, but we are
> definitely making significant progress.  Getting there will involve a great
> deal more work, and greater buy-in from relevant agencies, institutions,
> researchers and research infrastructures.  The prize will be a digital
> knowledgebase for biodiversity that supports much more sophisticated
> interrogation and uses than our historical (primarily paper-based)
> knowledgebase ever could.
> Bob’s paper certainly reminds us of many of the things we still have to do.
> Speaking for GBIF, I can certainly say that we are far from complacent over
> this.  Our goal is certainly to automate what we can but also to connect
> efficiently with everyone who can contribute the additional expertise that
> comes from direct knowledge of each taxonomic group.
> Donald
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Donald Hobern - GBIF Director - dhobern at gbif.org
> Global Biodiversity Information Facility http://www.gbif.org/
> GBIF Secretariat, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
> Tel: +45 3532 1471  Mob: +45 2875 1471  Fax: +45 2875 1480
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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David J Patterson

Research Professor, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University
Professor (MBL) Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
Emeritus Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney,

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