[Taxacom] Nomenclatural availability of preliminary electronic versions of taxonomic papers

John Noyes j.noyes at nhm.ac.uk
Mon Oct 19 05:59:52 CDT 2015


A few comments (built from experience) below.


John Noyes
Scientific Associate
Department of Life Sciences
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
South Kensington
London SW7 5BD 
jsn at nhm.ac.uk
Tel.: +44 (0) 207 942 5594
Fax.: +44 (0) 207 942 5229

Universal Chalcidoidea Database (everything you wanted to know about chalcidoids and more):

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Pyle [mailto:pylediver at gmail.com] On Behalf Of Richard Pyle
Sent: 16 October 2015 23:46
To: 'Scott Thomson'
Cc: 'Roderic Page'; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; John Noyes
Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Nomenclatural availability of preliminary electronic versions of taxonomic papers

Thanks, Scott.  Just a few comments:

> Also some poor group is going to have to register and set in place 
> every previously described species (about 2 million I believe) in 
> whatever is the accepted method.

Agreed -- this is a huge challenge.  But already, even with the comparatively feeble ZooBank system, the retrospective registration of content is coming along swimmingly. Many of the names are already cleanly captured electronically in nomenclators, so I suspect many of the legacy names will be in place by the time the 5th Edition of the Code goes into effect.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> I do not really see this as a major problem. 2 million names is nothing if it shared. A hundred taxonomists working on their favourite group (20K valid species) part time could manage this in 2 years easy. A large chunk of this is already done in any case. 

> On a practical side your also going to need one awesome server and 
> guaranteed funds to keep it running.
> Your not going to store the data for some 7 - 8 million species on a 
> university server or in cloud space.

Actually, the total content (including full literature citations, etc.) for 7-8 million taxon names is relatively trivial by today's standards.  I doubt the database would exceed more than a few tens of GB in size.  I am working on a database with over a billion records, and it tips the scales at half a terabyte.  My laptop has 7TB of storage space, and our Museum has much, much more.  Compared to the needs of other big data initiatives, we're rather tiny.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> I agree with Rich here. The UCD contains well over 0.5bn records and this takes up less than 500mb. Throw in 20,000 PDFs and you add only about 20Gb.

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