[Taxacom] BioNames and others names

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Sat Jun 1 23:43:31 CDT 2013


Stephen is wrong about "Lots".  But I don't blame him.  The reason it seems
like "lots" is, ultimately, the same reason almost no two people agree on
what a "taxon name" is.  It's sort of like saying, "Why do we need so many
biologists studying organisms -- aren't they all doing the same thing?"
Perhaps to a non-biologist, everything that any biologist does might seem
like the "same thing".  But when you start to really understand the playing
field, you start to realize that what each biologist does is a bit
different.

The exact same thing is happening in taxon-name-database sphere.  To an
outside observer, it might appear that what Catalog of Life, and
Encyclopedia of Life, and GBIF, and Bionames, and ION, and Global Names
Architecture, and ZooBank, and IPNI, and Tropicos, and Index Fungorum, and
any of dozens of other nomenclators, species indexers, checklist-makers,
etc. are all "doing the same thing".  But to those of us who are immersed in
this space, this is actually a very naïve view.  

Having said that, there are many points of "intersection" between these
various initiatives, and to some extent, there is some repeated effort.  The
points of intersection are not being bridged as well as they could be, but
at the same time, "repeated effort" is not the same thing as "wasted
effort".

Speaking as someone who has been deeply involved in this area for over 20
years, I am very delighted to report that I've seen a trend in the past few
years towards MUCH better coordination, MUCH less artificial/unnecessary
replication of effort, and overall a trend towards increasing "synergy" (I
absolutely hate that word, but in this case it's apt).

Aloha,
Rich

> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-
> bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Stephen Thorpe
> Sent: Saturday, June 01, 2013 5:11 PM
> To: bayshark at bigfoot.com; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] BioNames and others names
> 
> Lots! Why can't we work together? Largely because of economic factors and
> human nature. Realistically, there isn't a snowball's chance in hell of
working
> together in perfect harmony on a single unified project, but we should be
> pushing for slightly higher levels of cooperation. Note that all funded
projects
> are underfunded, given the enormity of the task, so none of them can ever
> reach completion. It could be done on Wikispecies, but only if lots of
> contributors are willing to give up a little bit of their time, which they
aren't!
> Nevertheless, I believe that Wikispecies is the most likely to get there
first,
> but I don't know how likely that is. Meanwhile, much $$$ will be spent
paying
> various people to do the same thing on different projects, even though
they
> can never really succeed. But it keeps people employed ...
> 
> Stephen
> 
> 
> ________________________________
> From: Ricardo <bayshark at bigfoot.com>
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Sent: Sunday, 2 June 2013 2:50 PM
> Subject: [Taxacom] BioNames and others names
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Dear colleagues
> 
> 
> 
> I would like to know how many organisations doing just the same thing, a
> creating list - database of living organisms.
> 
> Why we are not able to coordinate money and do just one project properly,
> including checking for errors,
> 
> One organisation can create list of names, second can add the pictures and
> another create list of  bibliography (as Biodiversity heritage Library
> doing)
> 
> 
> 
> BioNames
> 
> BioLib
> 
> Tree of Life
> 
> Atlas of Living Australia
> 
> GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information facility)
> 
> Wilkipedia
> 
> Animalbase
> 
> 
> 
> Regards
> 
> 
> 
> Vratislav
> 
> www.coleoptera.org
> 
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