[Taxacom] human involvement (was Re: BioNames)

Lyubomir Penev lyubo.penev at gmail.com
Tue Jun 4 02:31:10 CDT 2013


> The answer is simple: less automated and more human involvement in the
aggregation process, combined with an efficient and transparent system for
feedback regarding errors, by anyone who notices them (preferably with the
history all logged and publicly archived) ...
>

I would say both automated and human-driven linking should co-exist in
parallel. This is the approach we have taken in the currently launched Pensoft
Writing Tool (PWT) <http://pwt.pensoft.net>. Automated linking exists but
it does not prevent authors to add several dedicated links for a taxon name
to sources they would like to cite, e.g., pages on BHL or articles in
BioNames, where a taxonomic or nomenclatural act has been either firstly
published or subsequently revised. Moreover authors can comments on a
particular act in additional field associated with the link.

Regards,
Lyubomir


On Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 1:13 AM, Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu> wrote:

> On 6/3/13 1:57 PM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> > The answer is simple: less automated and more human involvement in the
> aggregation process, combined with an efficient and transparent system for
> feedback regarding errors, by anyone who notices them (preferably with the
> history all logged and publicly archived) ...
> >
> Many of us have been saying this for many years now.
>
> This approach, however, faces an extreme challenge from either side of
> the equation: (1) you can't actually design a proposal where ALL of the
> necessary labor would be funded, because that would require hiring
> thousands of people (some of you will recall the "All-Species"
> initiative, which promised to do just that), and (2) if the labor is all
> unpaid (an approach which, in essence, has been/is being tried), then
> any such proposal won't offer much incentive (or guidance) to the
> volunteers - and good luck finding several thousand skilled volunteers
> who all have access to all of the necessary original literature.
>
> Realistically, one either needs to improve the incentive for
> participation in the system (such as making participation effectively
> mandatory, as happens with GenBank), or find a way to fund a large but
> manageable number of experts who can then coordinate and oversee
> volunteers within a discipline (or do much of the work themselves,
> full-time). On my more cynical days, it occurs to me that no one is
> interested in the latter approach because, if the taxasphere was divvied
> up into equal parcels (e.g., having 200 experts responsible for, say, no
> fewer than 10,000 taxa apiece), at least 75% of the positions would go
> to invertebrate taxonomists.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> --
> Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
> Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
> phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
>               http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
>    "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
>          is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
>
>
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-- 
Dr. Lyubomir Penev
Managing Director
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