Dear ECN community,

Perhaps it is time for a history lesson.  Why does ECN exist and are we 
keeping true?

ECN was founded because the previous structure started getting too 
"institutional" and unflexible.  It had officers, who once in place 
wanted multiple terms, that ran things.  They wanted to become 
important, powerful, represent the community to the outside world, and 
affiliate the group with others where they would be the representatives. 
They wanted to host programs similar to what Derek is talking about, and 
to "run things."  ECN was created in a revolte to escape these 
tendencies, and in fact was formally free of the ability to be like that 
for two decades.  More recently, ECN has converged towards the type of 
organization it was created to escape.  We have by-laws, a bank account, 
officers serving multiple terms, inter-organizational affiliations 
created by those officers and represented there by those officers, and 
now suggestions (not from the officers) for hosting programs.  Those who 
do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

This is not a reflection on individuals, our officers are nothing like 
the ones that got a hold of the ESA Standing Committee on Systematic 
Resources, but neither were the officers of the SCSR before the ones 
that caused the problem.  At one time that group put well over a hundred 
people in their meeting rooms, so our current success is no protection 
from further convergence unless we think about where this is going.  ECN 
was created to foster interaction within our community, it was never 
intended to be powerful.


On 9/13/2016 10:51 AM, Derek Sikes wrote:
> This is all excellent to hear. A GenBank for specimen data is an idea 
> that needs to be kept alive!
> Just to clarify my suggestion regarding SysEB - no physical 
> infrastructure would be needed. Datasets can be uploaded directly from 
> an author's computer into GBIF's servers (as presumably happens with 
> the Canadensys solution). All that should be needed is someone to 
> mediate/help the process (and encourage authors to share their data!)
> Very timely information for a paper I'm writing. Thanks Nico & everyone!
> -Derek
> On Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 5:23 AM, Norman F. Johnson <[log in to unmask] 
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>     The xBio:D database at Ohio State has hosted data originating from
>     a large number of other collections for many years now. This began
>     with our taxonomic work: simply stated, almost none of the
>     collections from which the specimens came had a data portal. So
>     we've had to do it ourselves, all the while citing the institution
>     that actually holds the material in question. As an extension, we
>     now also serve as the physical repository for other institutions,
>     a logical extension of the same issue. With the appropriate IPT
>     the role of OSU is (or should be) entirely transparent to a user
>     going through something like GBIF or iDigBio.  This seems to me to
>     be an old issue that has been solved many times.
>     On the suggested issue of centralization, it seems to me that
>     organizations such as SysEB are not a good choice. It lacks
>     stability in personnel, funds to maintain such an operation, and
>     the physical infrastructure to take on the long-term commitment
>     needed.
>     Norm Johnson
>     On 9/13/2016 9:02 AM, Dikow, Torsten wrote:
>>     Hi Nico,
>>     I am publishing material examined lists from taxonomic revisions,
>>     with specimens originating from several natural history
>>     collections some of which upload their data GBIF and some don’t,
>>     through an IPT instance installed at my institution. As you will
>>     see (
>>     <>), this GBIF IPT has several
>>     data-sets and among them the huge occurrence data-set from the
>>     entire NMNH collections.
>>     I try as much as possible to utilize the original institutional
>>     unique specimen identifier by asking the curators to send these
>>     labels to me before attaching my “personal research identifier”
>>     as every single specimen needs to fulfill the Darwin Core Triplet
>>     during GBIF validation (institutionCode, collectionCode, unique
>>     identifier).
>>     Twelve years back, Rudolf Meier and myself lobbied for a specimen
>>     depository from taxonomic revisions similar to GenBank
>>     (
>>     <>). I would
>>     say that utilizing a GBIF IPT instance at an institutional level
>>     fulfills this role and provides data to GBIF, which was
>>     originally conceived for natural history collection data only.
>>     Miller et al. 2012 (
>>     <>) promote that
>>     publishers might be a better way to provide published specimen
>>     occurrence data to GBIF than individual researchers as most
>>     taxonomists likely do not want to deal with an extra step of
>>     uploading the specimen data through a GBIF IPT. Obviously,
>>     journals published by Pensoft do exactly this service (and many
>>     others) for the taxonomists.
>>     I will touch on this (and other topics) during my talk at the
>>     upcoming ECN meeting.
>>     Cheers, Torsten
>>>     Thank you, all.
>>>        Sorry I dropped the ball there for a few days. I received
>>>     several interesting off-line answers in addition.
>>>        I think I should also try to clarify. First off, for the
>>>     (some) botanists - in entomology there is much less of a
>>>     tradition of "creating duplicates" (of purportedly the same
>>>     individual..thinking about branches of an oak tree here). Insect
>>>     specimens overwhelmingly remain and travel "entire" (even
>>>     following dissection). I hope that distinction is fair enough to
>>>     most.
>>>        Here is the conflict, as simple as I can state it. There is
>>>     an institution that the specimens ultimately belong to, and that
>>>     loans them out to a researcher. Then there is a researcher, not
>>>     affiliated with the institution, who right now has resources and
>>>     arguably needs to "publish" the specimens via iDigBio, GBIF,
>>>     etc. (as well as other outlets such as a research journal).
>>>        Let's assume that the owning institution just really does not
>>>     have the resources right now. Not even to put a locally unique
>>>     specimen identifier on it (or, it does that, but there is no
>>>     digital counterpart). And the researcher does. Beyond writing a
>>>     kind, explanatory e-mail, and figuring things out
>>>     (idiosyncratically), is there some more widespread accepted
>>>     practice for resolving this conflict? Answering "I use this or
>>>     that portal that I happen to have access to and which does it
>>>     for me", is not really a generally applicable answer, right?
>>>        If not, should we as a community (in our most hopeful
>>>     moments, anyway) consider creating one or more that are very
>>>     open for contributions? Something like an open portal for
>>>     digitizing and iDigBio-/GBIF-publishing research-relevant
>>>     specimens of/for owner institutions that "just can't right now,
>>>     sorry".
>>>     Cheers,
>>>     Nico
>>     . . . . .
>>     Torsten Dikow, Ph.D.
>>     Research Entomologist for Diptera
>>     w 202.633.1005 <tel:202.633.1005> [log in to unmask]
>>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>>     . . . <>
>>     . . . @TDikow <> #asiloidflies
>>     <> #USNMDiptera
>>     <>
>>     . . . SI Entomology staff page
>>     <>
>>     . . . access to research data at ORCiD
>>     <>
>     -- 
>     Ohio State University
>     Norman F. Johnson, Professor
>     Moser Chair in Arthropod Biosystematics & Biological Diversity
>     Professor & Associate Chair, Department of Evolution, Ecology &
>     Organismal Biology
>     Professor, Department of Entomology Director, C.A. Triplehorn
>     Insect Collection
>     College of Arts & Sciences Department of Evolution, Ecology &
>     Organismal Biology
>     1220 Museum of Biological Diversity, 1315 Kinnear Road, Columbus,
>     OH 43212
>     614-292-6595 <tel:614-292-6595> Office / 614-292-7774
>     <tel:614-292-7774> Fax
>     [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>     <>
> -- 
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Derek S. Sikes, Curator of Insects
> Associate Professor of Entomology
> University of Alaska Museum
> 907 Yukon Drive
> Fairbanks, AK 99775-6960
> [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> phone: 907-474-6278
> FAX: 907-474-5469
> University of Alaska Museum  -  search 347,746 digitized arthropod records
> <>
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Interested in Alaskan Entomology? Join the Alaska Entomological
> Society and / or sign up for the email listserv "Alaska Entomological 
> Network" at
> <>


Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.

NOTE: two addresses with different Zip Codes depending on carriers

US Post Office Address:
Montana Entomology Collection
Marsh Labs, Room 50
PO Box 173145
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717

UPS, FedEx, DHL Address:
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