Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, September 06, 2007

OA for biodiversity data

Donat Agosti, "That's life" - is it?  Biodivcontext, September 6, 2007.  Excerpt:

...[I]n todays New York Time (Sept 6) you can read an Op-Ed contribution by EO Wilson, "That's life"....

The [Wilson-inspired] Encyclopedia of Life is a very secretive initiative administering data collected by third parties. There is no substantial budget, nor are science plans there, to create new data. In fact, the proposed support for the affiliated Biodiversity Heritage Library has been cut - the only place, where EOL could have helped to convert existing data into a digital, all accessible and open form.

Wilson's own commitment to open access is dubious, and his credentials to develop new ways to provide access to biodiversity data are non existent....

There are ways to be more efficient at very little cost.

  • Open Acccess: Assure, that all the forthcoming taxonomic and ecological literature is open access, either by the green or the gold road.
  • Commit the publishers to insert taxonomic specific tags (such as provided by taxonx the schema), so new names and descriptions can automatically be harvested.
  • Support by our government of Name Registries for all the world orgasnisms, such as IPNI and Zoobank.
  • Provide targeted access to legacy publications, digitize and mark them up, so that they can be harvested, their names, descriptions and distribution records, and provide doi or handles for all of these records.
  • Commit the members of the Conservation Commons to deliver: provide access to their data.
  • Bridge the gap between the conservation, industry and sytematics community, so that a link between data exists.
  • Implement the OECD guidelines to provide access to publicly funded scientific data....