[Taxacom] iSpecies

Dean Pentcheff pentcheff at gmail.com
Tue Jan 26 18:17:35 CST 2016

On Jan 26, 2016 4:11 PM, "Thompson, Alexander M" <godfoder at acis.ufl.edu>

> I agree with Tony here. On two different fronts.
> One, as a holder of data, iDigBio is very interested in collecting these
> types of annotations for the data that we serve. So I would hope that any
> efforts to build an annotation system into something like iSpecies would
> include provisions for the ability to pass those annotations down to all
> information providers capable of receiving them (as iDigBio plans to do).
> Two, in terms of the general annotation ecosystem, I think its very
> important that annotation systems are very clear about A) what exactly the
> annotations applies too, and B) who is ultimately responsible for the
> annotation. For A, without a nearly universally recognized and applied
> identifier system (such as DOIs for papers) this virtual requires that the
> service archive copies of the annotated resource. Even then it is possible
> for annotations on archived content to effectively vanish if the system is
> not very careful
> to manage churn. For B, I firmly believe this requires the nomination of a
> organization to be the default holder of annotation records. This
> organization needs to be responsible for ensuring that "action" is taken on
> all annotations, even if the only viable action is to simply display them
> alongside the annotated content when it is queried. Other organizations
> could step up to the plate and take more comprehensive actions on
> annotations (such as a collection modifying its authoritative database),
> but in order to build trust in the system every accepted annotation needs a
> guaranteed minimum level of service.
> I think that iSpecies as currently envisioned fails on these fronts, so
> annotations would not really be an appropriate feature. That said, I think
> it's a neat little tool that has a lot of potential, and could definitely
> evolve to the point (either by building features internally, or by
> continuing to incorporate finer grained data from additional sources) where
> annotation features would be both useful and appropriate.
> - Alex
> iDigBio Infrastructure Lead
> ________________________________________
> From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> on behalf of Tony Rees
> <tonyrees49 at gmail.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 6:29 PM
> To: David Campbell; taxacom
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] iSpecies
> I don't think "annotation" and an on-the-fly aggregator such as iSpecies
> belong together. As Rod is pointing out, iSpecies is basically a
> demonstrator of the fact that you can take an input species name, throw it
> at a select number of (hopefully comprehensive) taxonomic resources, and do
> "something" with whatever comes back, on-the-fly. The system is just a
> piece of code (large or small) to do that job, and does not hold any
> content of its own (although arguably a list of taxonomic names and their
> synonyms might be helpful, for query expansion, also homonyms, for
> disaggregation...). So any annotations would need to reside in the external
> data sources that the "aggregator" queries.
> Of course a step away from this model is to start to hold actual content
> locally for query, then annotations *could* be attached as desired within
> the iSpecies environment, but my feeling is that this is outside the scope
> of Rod's present "demonstrator" system. There is a conceptual progression
> from a basic system as shown to something with a lot more behind it
> (databases, locally hosted content, annotations, lists and systems of taxa,
> etc. etc.) which is ultimately how you end up with the likes of EOL,
> however with substantially (read lots!) more investment in both IT
> infrastructure, editorial input, and community engagement.
> Personally (no disrespect to Rod) if I wanted EOL content I would go to
> EOL, GBIF content I would go to GBIF, literature I would go to Google
> Scholar and BHL at this time, but Rod is trying to show that "some" of the
> required human mouse clicks can be automated at least (though that is
> hardly a new message, thanks in part to his original iSpecies of 2006 or
> so). I think the value will be to see what else he can do with the system
> to produce a product, or some interesting value- adding, that is currently
> *not* available elsewhere with a few mouse clicks.
> Regards - Tony
> Tony Rees, New South Wales, Australia
> https://about.me/TonyRees
> On 27 January 2016 at 09:25, David Campbell <pleuronaia at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Such annotation, though requiring appropriate moderation, has particular
> > advantages of being easy and convenient for the people competent to make
> > corrections.  They're likely to be working on their own projects and not
> > have time or funding to tackle a thorough review of a dataset.  But they
> > are likely to search for information and, in the process, spot
> > misinformation.  A quick way to flag problems, provide supplemental info,
> > etc., and the researcher is likely to contribute.  If it takes 10 minutes
> > of searching through multiple links just to find a possible way to
> submit a
> > correction, then there will be a lot fewer edits submitted.  This applies
> > for many contexts - BHL could improve indexing if readers could flag
> > unrecognized scientific names and false positives, for example.
> >
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 3:26 PM, Stephen Thorpe <
> > stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Rod,
> > >
> > > The only way that this sort of thing is ever going to get beyond the
> > stage
> > > of "garbage in, garbage out" is by allowing free and unrestricted (but
> > > moderated in case of spam) annotation....
> >
> >
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