[Annelida] Encyclopedia of Life launch, May 9, 2007
(by g.read from niwa.co.nz)
Thu May 10 22:57:34 EST 2007
FWIW I'm in favour of this project, though it's early days, if it
provides a user-friendly means for us experts to produce standard-layout
content and material useful to us in our work on the animals we know.
However, I don't have much faith in 'mash ups' from the existing web as
a source of reliable anything, having seen what can happen. Quote from
the site FAQ, "Unlike conventional encyclopedias, where an editorial
team sits down and writes the entries, the Encyclopedia will be
developed by bringing together (mashing up) content from a wide
variety of sources. This material will then be authenticated by
scientists ...". And we get silk purses from the sow's ears?
Science 11 May 2007:
Vol. 316. no. 5826, p. 818
"Hands up if you've heard this before: An ambitious new project promises
to create an online compendium of all 1.8 million or so described
species. [...] If EOL sounds familiar, that's because its brief overlaps
with those of several efforts, notably the All Species Foundation, whose
chair promised to deliver a Web site for every species (Science, 26
October 2001, p. 769). That project is defunct, but others have managed
to cover slices of biodiversity. At one end of the spectrum is the
Catalogue of Life, which houses bare-bones taxonomic data--the
equivalent of name, rank, and serial number--for more than 1 million
species. At the opposite end are lush sites such as FishBase and
AlgaeBase, which home in on specific groups and offer illustrated pages
on individual species."
" ... Researchers praise the EOL's vision but fret about the execution.
"The exercise is only worthwhile if it's more accurate and better
coordinated than what's already available on the Internet," says Frank
Exactly. To do that properly is going to be take a lot of work and time
delving into the books and old journal sets.
Geoff Read <g.read from niwa.co.nz>
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