[Taxacom] Draft Checklist of the Nonmarine Arthropods of Alaska now online

Tony.Rees at csiro.au Tony.Rees at csiro.au
Wed Aug 28 00:37:52 CDT 2013


Hi Derek,

I am interested in your point below namely:

> There should be a single online classification such as ITIS or
> Globalnames.org that whomever is an authority on a group can edit to
> update
> their taxa of interest. Databases could then use that name server as a
> service so that the changes would be available to all without anyone
> needing to do those thousands of keystrokes to update their databases.

There is a precedent here in the marine domain - the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) maintains up-to-date global checklists for marine groups, maintained (theoretically) continuously by designated 'expert' custodians for different sectors, and provides a unique "aphia" (=WoRMS) ID for each taxonomic name, although as yet I do not believe there is a facility for external systems to automatically synchronize with the list; however that would be a logical end point to aim for. Currently I guess the nearest most complete equivalent for nonmarine groups is the Catalogue of Life partnership although last time I enquired they did not seem to have a commitment to stable IDs, also the CoL coverage is not yet complete for all groups. It is definitely a space in which the provision of synchronization/update services to remote machine clients would be beneficial...

One could of course extend the WoRMS centralized model to all taxa (requiring perhaps a 10-fold increase in size) but then there is a question of who would host and fund it, also whether or not it would be realistic to replace the present loose affiliation of disparate, distributed / locally maintained systems with a single centrally managed one.

Regards - Tony 

Dr Tony Rees 
Manager | Divisional Data Centre
Marine and Atmospheric Research
CSIRO
E Tony Rees at csiro.au T +61 3 6232 5318
CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, GPO Box 1538, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia
www.cmar.csiro.au/datacentre
Manager, OBIS Australia regional Node, http://www.obis.au
LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tony-rees/18/770/36

> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-
> bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Derek Sikes
> Sent: Wednesday, 28 August 2013 4:56 AM
> To: Jose Fernandez Triana
> Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; ECN-L at listserv.unl.edu; Entomology
> Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Draft Checklist of the Nonmarine Arthropods of
> Alaska now online
> 
> Jose,
> 
> Thanks Jose!
> 
> Smaller fixes I can do myself. Larger classification corrections are
> more
> challenging and the topic of how best to handle such improvements is
> something I've been very interested in.
> 
> It is a waste of many people's effort for a new classification to
> appear
> with hundreds or thousands of keystroke-name changes needed, and then
> for
> hundreds of entomologists, collection managers, etc to re-type all
> those
> changes into their own databases.
> 
> There should be a single online classification such as ITIS or
> Globalnames.org that whomever is an authority on a group can edit to
> update
> their taxa of interest. Databases could then use that name server as a
> service so that the changes would be available to all without anyone
> needing to do those thousands of keystrokes to update their databases.
> 
> Arctos is soon to release a new model that does just this. It will
> allow
> searches using various online databases of names. We as a community are
> still at the early early stages of such an approach being functional
> for
> the entire community but this seems to me to be the future. If someone
> disagrees with the consensus taxonomy they can override it for their
> own
> database but I'm sure many collection managers, for most taxa, would be
> happy to press a single button to update their database with the latest
> classification changes.
> 
> I'll fix that Apanteles - Cotesia species and if you send me the rest
> of
> the suggested changes I'll see what I can get done!
> 
> -Derek





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