[Taxacom] Filling the world with biodiversity data errors

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Fri Dec 4 01:12:40 CST 2020


In other words it is better for two to outrun the bear than one :)

On Thu, Dec 3, 2020 at 11:54 PM Stephen Thorpe via Taxacom <
taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:

>  PS: I forgot to mention that I don't blame anyone for making errors, but
> I just think it important that any errors get fixed asap. That is the whole
> point, i.e. provide an efficient error correcting facility. It isn't about
> blame, it is about fixing it.
>     On Friday, 4 December 2020, 05:50:11 pm NZDT, Stephen Thorpe <
> stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
>
>   Well Rich, it rather depends on the frequency of such errors, which I
> don't have any grasp of, at present. If the frequency of such errors is
> low, say 1%, then there isn't much of a problem (unless you particularly
> want data on Zenascus luniger!) However, if the frequency of such errors is
> high, which might be the case, as far as I know, then there is more of a
> problem, even if it is the best of the available alternatives. Assuming
> that the data does actually get used by somebody for some purpose, a high
> proportion of such errors isn't necessarily better than nothing! Imagine if
> the species was added to the list of protected threatened species of
> Iceland, on the basis that there were so few known specimens and subsequent
> surveys turned up none! The mythical extinct Icelandic aderid! Anyway, I
> don't see anything wrong with pointing out that there is room for
> improvement!
> Stephen
>     On Friday, 4 December 2020, 05:38:52 pm NZDT, Richard Pyle <
> deepreef at bishopmuseum.org> wrote:
>
>  Two guys walking through the woods.  A huge bear starts to charge them.
> The first guy sits down to put on his running shoes.  The second guy says,
> "Are you crazy?!? You'll never out-run that bear!" The first guy says, "I
> don't have to out-run the bear. I just have to out-run YOU."
>
> Moral of the story: You don't need to perfect.  You just need to be better
> than the alternative.  From where I sit, what PLAZI is doing is far, FAR
> better than the alternative!
>
> Keep those running shoes on, Donat!
>
> Aloha,
> Rich
>
> Richard L. Pyle, PhD
> Senior Curator of Ichthyology | Director of XCoRE
> Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum
> 1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, HI 96817-2704
> Office: (808) 848-4115;  Fax: (808) 847-8252
> eMail: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
> BishopMuseum.org
> Our Mission: Bishop Museum inspires our community and visitors through the
> exploration and celebration of the extraordinary history, culture, and
> environment of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> On Behalf Of
> > Stephen Thorpe via Taxacom
> > Sent: Thursday, December 3, 2020 5:27 PM
> > To: Donat Agosti <agosti at amnh.org>; Taxacom
> > <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> > Subject: [Taxacom] Filling the world with biodiversity data errors
> >
> > Hi Donat and Taxacom,The attempt to automate data harvesting, without
> > human scrutiny, continues to fill the world with biodiversity data
> errors.
> > Specifically, on zenodo, for Zenascus luniger, if you click on
> 'specimens', you
> > get
> > trash: http://tb.plazi.org/GgServer/html/03A48794FFF8FFC66F8549E97070F8
> > F1
> > It is garbage for the following reasons: (1) The species is endemic to
> N.Z., but
> > the 4 specimens recorded are 2 from Iceland and the other 2 unknown,
> leaving
> > Iceland as the only location on the map!(2) Of the 4 specimens, 2 are
> > supposedly lectotypes (no, there is no synonymy)!(3) The treatment upon
> > which this data is based only mentions 2 specimens (lectotype and
> > paralectotype), both from New Zealand.I'm not sure how widespread such
> > problems are on zenodo, but there seems to be little reason to think
> that this
> > is a rare case, is there?Cheers, Stephen
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> > Nurturing nuance while assaulting ambiguity for about 33 years,
> 1987-2020.
>
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