[Tdwg-phylo] How can we engage the wider non-tech research community?

Ross Mounce rcpm20 at bath.ac.uk
Thu Jan 27 16:51:02 CET 2011

Dear list,

Having already noted on Twitter that this list is rather quiet,
I thought I'd post something to (hopefully) generate debate:

As a student primarily concerned with palaeo-morpho-phylo data, 
I'm rather disheartened by the lack of progress in data archiving and publishing standards, particularly in the palaeontological research community.

What's worse is. I get the feeling (some) people just don't care.
They can seem oblivious to the benefits. Ignorant to the lost re-purposing potential.

A tiny few evolution and ecology journals have recently changed editorial policy for the better -> So what?
These journals are a just a drop in the ocean of what's out there that publish phylogenetic analyses, particularly palaeo-phylo analyses.

How many systematic palaeontologists know or care about ontologies and/or XML-schema?

It's all fine and well creating wonderfully clever linked architectures for data, but if the primary data-producers don't know about them, nor want the additional 'hassle' (no matter how little hassle it is), these brilliant data-networks may remain relatively empty.

Community-change is needed, first-and-foremost I argue. The question I ask is how?



I find it gratingly ironic that Palaeontologists have an extremely faithfully updated public database for taxonomic and stratigraphic occurrence records: http://paleodb.org/
Why are MorphoBank and/or TreeBASE not as popular?



Ross Mounce
PhD Student
Fossils, Phylogeny and Macroevolution Research Group
University of Bath
4 South Building, Lab 1.07

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