(by a.glover from nhm.ac.uk)
Fri Mar 20 07:36:54 EST 2009
I have created a website at http://polychaetes.info which some of you
may find useful. It is a 'Web 2.0' style site created using the system
developed by the European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT). It
started as something of an experiment, but I now believe it may be of
genuine use to other polychaete workers.
The site was a project outcome of a workshop on abyssal polychaetes
held at the NHM in London. It was felt that a modern data-sharing
website was required so that workers could share informal taxonomic
descriptions and images. A major problem that we highlighted was the
lack of revisionary taxonomy, and the lack of public availability for
taxonomic data produced by many large-scale abyssal biodiversity
studies that have been undertaken in recent years. This includes
actual names, and a lot of 'informal' descriptions (sp. A, B, C etc).
Whilst there are some efforts underway to formally describe these
species, the resources allocated to taxonomy have been so small
(compared with the costs of the collecting) that rather little has
The site I have created allows users to log in, upload their own
species records, descriptions and images using forms, comment on (and
edit) other data, geo-reference their data on a google map module,
search for records and descriptions, and so forth. Anybody can view
the data, only registered users can add data and edit what is there.
For example, we are using it to share taxonomic data from recent
biodiversity surveys of deep-sea canyons, the abyssal Pacific and the
Antarctic. We hope that this will encourage future revisionary
taxonomy, as well as better quality control of our own identifications.
I have also uploaded about 4000 records of deep-sea polychaetes from a
CeDAMar / CoML sponsored databasing exercise. Everything is geo-
referenced on the map, but most of these records did not come with
scanned images or drawings unfortunately.
I am aware that there are rather a lot of web initiatives at the
moment (e.g EoL, WORMS, GBIF etc). Our small site is obviously not
intended as any sort of competition. Rather, I see small 'user-
generated' online initiatives like this being useful in channeling
data to the larger global initiatives such as EoL, which lack data.
I will be interested to hear any feedback. If you would like to upload
any of your own data, there is a link on the home screen to apply for
a user account. We are not restricting it to just deep-sea data.
Dr Adrian Glover
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Rd, London SW7 5BD, UK
+44 (0)20 7942 5056 (office)
+44 (0)77 666 48 440 (mobile)
a.glover from nhm.ac.uk OR adrianglover from mac.com
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