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

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Wed Aug 28 02:53:19 CDT 2013


Well, my act is together, and I am doing just that, as fast as I can, on Wikispecies. For example, have a browse through http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Cephaloplectinae
 
The question "how many species have we described to date?" probably doesn't have a very meaningful or useful answer anyway. Given that many taxa are unrevised, the answer will include an unknown number of synonyms-to-be. I just don't see it as a useful question ...
 
Stephen

From: Roderic Page <r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk>
To: TAXACOM taxacom <Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Cc: ECN-L at listserv.unl.edu; ENTOMO-L at listserv.uoguelph.ca 
Sent: Wednesday, 28 August 2013 7:36 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Draft Checklist of the Nonmarine Arthropods of Alaska now online


I for one find it extraordinary that in the early 21st century our field has failed to get its act together and provide the simple, basic services most users require of taxonomic names. A simple list of names, linked to variations (spellings, synonyms, etc.) and appropriate literature, so that anyone can check a name (or set of names) and see relevant supporting evidence.

Our failure to do this means efforts to aggregate biodiversity data, be it taxonomic, genomic or geographic have to continually deal with a mess almost entirely of our own making.

Recent commentary on the Costello et al. paper in Science "Can We Name Earth's Species Before They Go Extinct?" http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1230318shows we can't even adequately answer the question "how many species have we described to date?", never mind how many might remain to be described.

Regards

Rod

On 28 Aug 2013, at 06:37, <Tony.Rees at csiro.au> <Tony.Rees at csiro.au> wrote:

> 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
> 
> 
> _______________________________________________
> Taxacom Mailing List
> Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
> 
> The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be searched with either of these methods:
> 
> (1) by visiting http://taxacom.markmail.org/
> 
> (2) a Google search specified as:  site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom  your search terms here
> 
> Celebrating 26 years of Taxacom in 2013.
> 

---------------------------------------------------------
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
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rdmpage
LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/rdmpage
Twitter: http://twitter.com/rdmpage
Blog: http://iphylo.blogspot.com/
Home page: http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/rod.html
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roderic_D._M._Page
Citations: http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?hl=en&user=4Z5WABAAAAAJ
ORCID id: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7101-9767

_______________________________________________
Taxacom Mailing List
Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom

The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be searched with either of these methods:

(1) by visiting http://taxacom.markmail.org/

(2) a Google search specified as:  site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom  your search terms here

Celebrating 26 years of Taxacom in 2013.


More information about the Taxacom mailing list