WoRMS project Re: [Annelida] Clymenura polaris original description

Edward Vanden Berghe via annelida%40net.bio.net (by evberghe from iobis.org)
Thu Feb 7 14:24:36 EST 2008

Dear all,

Fred Grassle passed the mail below on to me.

Geoff brings up a very valid point: we don't know at all who posted the picture on the web, and how reliable the identification of the species is. While we are very restrictive on who we give edit rights to the taxonomic information, anyone can upload pictures, and put a name on it; and the picture would automatically appear on the authoritative page of the species, thus confounding very rigorously controlled edited content with something over which we have no control at all.

Maybe at least the name of the person submitting the picture should be made visible on the web site. I also think we need to create a field in the database that indicates whether or not the identification has been confirmed by the taxonomic editor of the group to which the species belongs. More work for Bart?

Thanks to all of you for bringing this problem to our attention!



> -----Original Message-----
> From: J. Frederick Grassle [mailto:grassle from marine.rutgers.edu]
> Sent: 07 February 2008 10:22
> To: Edward Vanden Berghe
> Subject: Fwd: WoRMS project Re: [Annelida] Clymenura polaris original
> description
> >Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2008 20:23:11 +1300
> >From: "Geoff Read" <g.read from niwa.co.nz>
> >To: "Stanislas DUBOIS" <Stanislas.Dubois from ifremer.fr>,
> >         <annelida from magpie.bio.indiana.edu>
> >Subject: WoRMS project Re: [Annelida] Clymenura polaris original
> >         description
> ><Stanislas.Dubois from ifremer.fr>
> >wrote:
> > > Dear Polychaete lovers,
> > >
> > > I'm looking for the original descrition of Clymenura polaris (Théel,
> >
> > > 1879).  Does someone has ever look at the pictures of C. polaris on
> > > MARINE SPECIES website
> > > http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=130286?  The
> > > thing is that the prostomium doesn't look like a Clymenura-like
> > > prostomium and there're no picture of the single cirri pygidium to
> > > confirm the ID.
> > >
> > > That's why I need to cheek on the original description and need your
> >
> > > help in my quest for truth!
> >
> >
> >Since the pictures aren't adequate in amount of detail shown for good
> >identification perhaps it doesn't matter if it's not actually Théel's
> >polaris (whatever its true genus might now be) that is illustrated! The
> >photo source web page lacks the authenticating information which would
> >suggest the polychaetes are named with an accuracy above
> >ecologist-level. Maybe a taxonomist was involved in the original
> >collections, maybe not - I don't readily know yet. Also we don't know
> >who choose to use those photos for that name on marinespecies.org.
> >Knowing how these things happen I expect it was more likely just someone
> >building the site who was trawling for any pics that matched the name,
> >rather than evaluation by the 2 distinguished persons named as their
> >polychaete editors by the site.
> >
> >All in all one would be rash to rely uncritically on anything put up
> >anywhere on the internet as a solid worm photo id to species - work by
> >taxonomist members of this list excepted. Stan is doing his bit by
> >investigating something that caught his eye, but probably as I write
> >this someone is putting a dubiously identified worm photo online. Life
> >is short - the internet is bigger by the day.
> >
> >I have some info on the WoRMS project (www.marinespecies.org),
> >apparently recently circulated. Here it is. It came from:
> >
> >Kristen Yarincik
> >Program Manager
> >Census of Marine Life International Secretariat
> >Consortium for Ocean Leadership
> >1201 New York Avenue, NW, 4th Floor
> >Washington DC, 20005, USA
> >Ph: +1 (202) 448-1237
> >Fx: +1 (202) 332-9751
> >Email: kyarincik from OceanLeadership.org
> >
> >
> >======================
> >
> >"World Register of Marine Species
> >
> >Lack of standardization in the use and spelling of taxonomic names is a
> >serious problem when integrating data from different sources, or when
> >trying to interpret information found in literature. OBIS
> >[http://www.iobis.org/], in its efforts to integrate data from a vast
> >number of data sets, is confronted with this problem on a daily basis.
> >For this reason, EurOBIS, the European node of OBIS, started compiling a
> >World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS); this register will soon be
> >implemented by OBIS as its taxonomic authority list.
> >
> >Many of the elements for a marine species register are available.
> >Several regional lists have been compiled; other lists have been
> >compiled for specific groups of organisms. Bringing these lists
> >together, harmonizing them and presenting them to end users as a single
> >information system, is a very achievable project, and one that OBIS has
> >taken on itself to achieve, as a contribution to the Census of Marine
> >Life and the Catalogue of Life. We hope that, by the end of 2008, we
> >will have information on at least 200,000 species, which would represent
> >the vast majority of known marine species. Right now, we have
> >information on more than 170,000 taxa; of these, 110,000 are valid
> >species names, well over the first target of 100,000 we set ourselves
> >for the end of 2007.
> >
> >The quality of the register and governance is assured by an Editorial
> >Board, consisting of experts in relevant fields of biology such as
> >taxonomy and in data management. Its main asset will be the large
> >community of taxonomic editors, who will ultimately be responsible for
> >the content and have the tools to edit the database on line.
> >
> >WoRMS is accessible through www.marinespecies.org. Our current database
> >is not complete, and we’re constantly looking for collaborators. If
> >you are a taxonomist studying a marine group, or if you are the
> >custodian of a marine species list, please do get in touch through
> >info from marinespecies.org, or through info from iobis.org.
> >
> >WoRMS is coordinated by a steering committee, co-chaired by Mark
> >Costello and Edward Vanden Berghe; all members of the steering committee
> >are listed on the web site. The technical facilities are developed and
> >maintained at the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), by Bart Vanhoorne;
> >data management is coordinated by Ward Appeltans. The WoRMS team wishes
> >to acknowledge Species 2000 europa, the Sloan Foundation, Lounsbery
> >Foundation, GBIF and the EU through MarBEF for financial support, and
> >the very many taxonomic editors who have donated their time to this
> >venture.
> >
> >
> >What WoRMS is
> >
> >A growing register of all marine species names, including synonymy and
> >misspellings in common use
> >A tool to assist in standardisation of spelling of taxonomic names
> >A guide to assist in the correct interpretation of taxonomic names
> >found in the literature, and to associate old names with the currently
> >valid one
> >An authoritative register, maintained by the authorities: the content
> >is controlled by taxonomic experts, not by data managers
> >
> >What WoRMS isn’t
> >
> >Complete: we’re working hard to complete the register for an
> >estimated 80% by the end of 2008 - this corresponds with an estimated
> >200,000 valid names.
> >Without mistakes: not a single non-trivial database is completely
> >error-free. We don’t promise to be perfect, only to be responsive and
> >to make best possible use of any feedback we receive
> >A complete species information system: we’re working together with
> >other organizations and trying to play our own role. The Encyclopedia of
> >Life will build on our efforts through its Catalogue of Life.
> >
> >What you’ll find on www.marinespecies.org
> >
> >Acknowledgement of contribution of everyone involved, on the level of
> >the individual record
> >A detailed edit history of every taxonomic record
> >Links to all sources of information, with many links to the primary
> >literature, where available with links to full text versions of
> >publications
> >Hyperlinks to other on-line data systems
> >A powerful search interface, capable of dealing with the more common
> >misspellings
> >A tool that can check names in an uploaded file against the register
> >
> >=================
> >
> >
> >
> >--
> >
> >  Geoff Read <g.read from niwa.co.nz>
> >    http://www.annelida.net/
> >   http://www.niwascience.co.nz/ncabb/
> >
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