[Tdwg-phylo] update on "Current Best Practices for Publishing a Phylogenetic Tree" project

Arlin Stoltzfus arlin at umd.edu
Wed Nov 24 19:56:06 CET 2010

To all those interested in archiving, sharing, re-use, etc of trees (w  
data & metadata)--

At the TDWG meeting in Woods Hole 2 months ago, the phylogenetic  
standards interest group spawned a sub-group (Dan Rosauer, Torsten  
Eriksson, Jamie Whitacre, Elena Herzog and myself) committed to a  
project to assess current best practices for publishing a phylogenetic  
tree electronically.   This project is very timely as several major  
evolution journals have now announced that in January 2011 they will  
require archiving of data including phylogenetic trees.

Since then, we've done a considerable amount of work that is reflected  
in drafts of an online report, and of a user survey.  Our intention is  
to release a preliminary report, send out the survey to get systematic  
feedback from a broad community of tree-makers and tree-users, then  
write a more complete report for publication.  The draft report and  
survey are available here:


At present, it does not seem that this will be done in time to release  
the report in 2010.  However, delaying until January will give us time  
to improve the report.

Please let me know if you have suggestions about how to improve the  
report, or if you would like to contribute more directly (i.e., by  
joining the project and doing some research and writing).

By way of fair warning, currently this is a "TDWG phylogenetic  
standards interest group" project, but if there is not enough energy  
in our interest group to finish this in a timely manner-- and so far  
there isn't-- I'm inclined to peddle this project more widely to get  
collaborators.  Thanks for your time,

Arlin Stoltzfus (arlin at umd.edu)
Fellow, IBBR; Adj. Assoc. Prof., UMCP; Research Biologist, NIST
IBBR, 9600 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD
tel: 240 314 6208; web: www.molevol.org

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