[tdwg-tag] Any TCS users with experiences to report?

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Tue Nov 6 08:39:45 CET 2012

Hi Tony,

Quick thoughts:

1. I've not seen much correlation between "major player" status and quality of infrastructure (although I take your general point). Catalogue of Life LSIDs are broken, and are routinely so. That nobody seems to care says something about efforts to adopt globally unique identifiers (and/or the fate of LSIDs).

2. "some territory/overlap to deal with here"  Yup, that's part of our problem. Not only do we have lots of smaller taxonomic databases, we seem intent on multiplying those that seek global coverage. Pity the poor user confronted by this.

3. The Open Tree of Life project seems to be partly reinventing the wheel, given the overlap in sources with those used by GBIF (see http://opentreeoflife.org/2012/10/11/is-it-a-plant-or-is-it-a-monkey/#comments )

4. That individual databases have their own web services doesn't negate anything I've said. That we have so many, and so varied in their form and output simply emphasises the problem.

I realise that there are all sorts of deep-seated reasons for the situation we are in, much of it to do with funding issues, project politics, the need for people to build systems that solve pressing "local" problems, and the lack of a constituency for a global solution. But I marvel at our ability to keep generating new taxonomic databases, with the promise of linking it all together sometime in the future.



Roderic Page
Professor of Taxonomy
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK

Email: r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Tel: +44 141 330 4778
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Skype: rdmpage
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Home page: http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/rod.html
Citations: http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?hl=en&user=4Z5WABAAAAAJ

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