[Taxacom] Chameleons, GBIF, and the Red List: IUCN

Donat Agosti agosti at amnh.org
Mon Aug 25 03:24:15 CDT 2014

"IUCN is much more useful."

This is actually another aspect of access to data. I can download GBIF by clicking that I adhere to their terms of use, but not so IUCN Red List. Let's see, what they want and whether they grant me access. Also, IUCN data is in many ways like to GBIF data, not generated by the IUCN or SSC but assembled from various sources, analyzed and then put under an IUCN label.

Following is the second step (a questionnaire and form to sign the adhere to terms of use,  in the process to get access to the data.

Is the data requested for a one-off reproduction of information for a book, a game, a product, zoo signage, etc.?*


Will the data be redistributed, in its entirety or in part, to a third party?*


Will the data be reposted, in its entirety or in part, electronically on a website, bulletin board, blog, FTP site, or other means of posting on the Internet?*


Will the data requested be used to create a derivative work?*


Is your request for an export of data related to activities within, or conducted on behalf of, or to the benefit of, or to assist the activities of any entity other than a not-for-profit organization?*


Please give a comprehensive description of your intended usage of the data requested.*

"I want to understand the base line data used for red list assessments. I want to be able to reanalyse red list scores. I might use if for writing blogs, comments in list servers or write scientific publications."

Should my request be approved, I agree to the Terms of use, except where otherwise answered above and as expressed in writing by IUCN, for the information obtained from the IUCN Red List. My answers above accurately reflect my use of the data I am requesting from the IUCN Red List.

Available downloads for Donat Agosti
Requested at 	Download link
2014-08-25 08:19:29 UTC 	Pending approval by IUCN
I am not even sure because I do not understand, whether I can comply to the Terms of use http://www.iucnredlist.org/info/terms-of-use (see eg From time to time, these Terms and Conditions of Use of The IUCN Red List may be modified. Accordingly, please continue to review the Terms and Conditions whenever accessing or using The IUCN Red List)

So, I see whether I get access to and can use the data and can scrutinize it the same way we do this here with data provided by GBIF - without the consent from GBIF that is not needed.


-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Michael Heads
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2014 12:27 AM
To: Richard Pyle; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Chameleons, GBIF, and the Red List

Richard wrote:

As Donat has already explained, we're not talking about "GBIF data", we're talking about data managed by hundreds (thousands?) of institutions in thousands of databases around the planet.  GBIF is doing us the (tremendously valuable) service of aggregating those data in on place, to make it incredibly easy for us to locate it.

But it's not getting any data from many of the most important collections in US, UK etc. or any from the largest country in the world, the one with the largest expanse of forest etc. That data (in the collections of Moscow
etc) is incorporated in works such as 'Birds of Russia" and from there into sites such as IUCN, but it's not in GBIF. So GBIF is not really a *global* biodiversity information facility - in practice it doesn't supply reliable information on global distributions, even in the best-known groups. IUCN is much more useful.

On Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 10:05 AM, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>

> Bob,
> What you describe is EXACTLY what GBIF and others in the biodiversity 
> informatics world are hoping to achieve.
> My previous post (reply to Stephen) covered these parts of the process:
> 1) Data exist in thousands of databases around the world
> 2) Aggregators like GBIF make our lives MUCH easier in helping us to 
> discover those data
> 3) We, the experts of the world, spend hours "cleaning" data after 
> GBIF has so helpfully allowed us to locate it.
> What you're talking about is the next step:
> 4) After we, the experts of the world, have spent hours "cleaning" the 
> data, how do we allow those efforts to propagate back to the sources, 
> so that the NEXT person who encounters those records through GBIF can 
> benefit from the toils of us experts?
> There are two basic roadblocks to achieving this final step.
> First, as has been made ABUNDANTLY clear in this thread, the data do 
> NOT belong to GBIF.  They belong to the hundreds (thousands?) of 
> institutions around the world that manage those thousands of 
> databases.  Ultimately, those corrections have to find their way back 
> to the source databases, so that GBIF can re-index them with the 
> corrections included.  And believe me, GBIF and others have tried to 
> do this EXTENSIVELY -- for many years.  A lot of the mechanisms are 
> being developed (e.g., FilteredPush), but so far there has been slow 
> adoption of those mechanisms by the thousands of source databases.  
> There are many reasons for this, but I suspect the main reason is that 
> institutions are barely keeping up day-to-day activities with 
> ever-shrinking budgets, and simply do not have time or IT expertise to 
> implement the corrections to the datasets that they manage. Thus, 
> because the source data remain "unclean", the aggregated data in GBIF remains unclean.
> The second major roadblock is the lack of "proper" identifiers 
> (globally unique, persistent, actionable) for these occurrence 
> records.  The only way that corrections that you make in your 
> downloaded copy of GBIF data is if you can report back on exactly 
> which records need cleaning (along with the corrected information).  
> GBIF does assign its own locally unique identifier (integer), which 
> could be used for this purpose -- but only for piping the data back to 
> GBIF.  GBIF can relay the corrections back to the source databases, 
> but that will only be helpful to the rest of us if the source incorporates the fixes.
> There is actually a third roadblock, which has the potential to become 
> a major roadblock, but we haven't bumped into it yet so much because 
> we still can't get past the first two roadblocks. And that is, 
> institutions will not automatically assume that every "correction" 
> that is sent to them is actually "correct".  Managers of those data 
> will in almost all cases want to review the changes to ensure that 
> they are appropriate for updating in the source database. And this 
> process, of course, requires time and resources that most institutions simply do not have.
> There may be another solution, however, which is for GBIF to cache 
> corrections submitted by people like you and other experts, such that 
> these annotations/corrections can be made visible to all users of GBIF 
> data; not just the source datasets.  Perhaps this feature already 
> exists.  Perhaps the politics of implementing such a feature are too daunting to overcome.
> But the bottom line is that we really do need to address this fourth 
> step, so that we can more effectively benefit from the work of others, 
> and (conversely), so that our own efforts will benefit more than just ourselves.
> Aloha,
> Rich
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf 
> > Of Bob Mesibov
> > Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2014 11:28 AM
> > To: Donat Agosti
> > Cc: TAXACOM; quentin groom
> > Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Chameleons, GBIF, and the Red List
> >
> > Donat Agosti wrote:
> >
> > "I feel, the discussion is too much centered on data that has not 
> > the information content needed, like studying a Landsat image at 30 
> > meter resolution and discussing what tree species is shown"
> >
> > Excellent metaphor! For most scientific uses, you need much more 
> > data
> than
> > is provided by any available database. Can you get everything you 
> > need online? No. Do existing aggregators like GBIF offer a helpful 
> > starting
> point?
> > For some people and some uses, yes.
> >
> > But now the important question: when you have all the information 
> > you need, and clean it and enrich it, do you publish it online in a 
> > usable
> form? I
> > don't know what Quentin Groom's project was about, nor do I know if 
> > he published his final data.
> >
> > In my own case, every one of my 12123 locality records for 
> > Australian Millipedes is freely available in CSV format (and in 
> > abbreviated form in
> KML)
> > from the 'Millipedes of Australia' website. This store is larger and
> more up to
> > date and contains fewer errors than any aggregator store, or even, 
> > the combined data providers' stores (because certain providers have 
> > been slow to add my edits to particular records, or to upload them 
> > to their own or aggregator stores).
> >
> > But if people like me and Quentin publish data freely to the Web and 
> > aggregators don't use this improved/extended data, aggregation looks 
> > less and less useful.
> > --
> > Dr Robert Mesibov
> > Honorary Research Associate
> > Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and School of Land and Food, 
> > University of Tasmania Home contact:
> > PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
> > (03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195
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> > http://taxacom.markmail.org
> >
> > Celebrating 27 years of Taxacom in 2014.
> _______________________________________________
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> Celebrating 27 years of Taxacom in 2014.

Dunedin, New Zealand.

My recent books:

*Molecular panbiogeography of the tropics.* 2012. University of California Press, Berkeley. www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520271968

*Biogeography of Australasia:  A molecular analysis*. 2014. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. www.cambridge.org/9781107041028 _______________________________________________
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