> I second Mavs concerns about forking, yet including all of the
> Wikispecies contents (as I understand it) into Wikipedia would be
> stretching the rules as well. One possible (but not really beautiful)
> way I could see is to put the source and database stuff into the
> separate Wikispecies, but put the plain text stuff and basic in
> Wikipedia - and of course closely link the two.
I was (and still am) supportive of the WikiSpecies project. You can't
expect to have a Wikipedia article about every species of caddisflies,
or about every ground-dwelling roundworm. As Andy pointed out, these
articles would remain stubs, as mostly no information but the mere
name would be available - plus some scientific stuff that is of no
interest for the general reader. Some of these data might be the
scientific name, its synonymes, the scientist first describing the
species (the taxonomic author).
However, I partially understand mav's concerns. Behaviour,
and stuff like that should remain in Wikipedia (and should not be
duplicated). The WikiSpecies project could have the above-mentioned
data, followed by a link "Read more about this species in English -
German - Polish - Japanese". So it would serve as an interlingual
species directory as well. But it should contain as few duplicate
information as possible.
Mirko Thiessen, aka Baldhur
Just for the record, Mav isn't the only one with these same concerns
about WikiSpecies. I couldn't agree more with practically everything
he's said so far, but I've been reluctant to get involved.
One thing that Wikispecies will not have is having a high reliance on
"vernacular names". Vernacular names are highly un-scientific with same
names covering many species, with many species without vernacular names,
with species being covered by many often regional names.
When Wikispecies is to interface from wikipedia, one obivous place to
put the links are the Taxoboxes. They would relate to the current
correct name for a taxon. This would imply that this should be a two-way
street. When Wikspecies decides that a name is not longer the currently
valid name; it would flag the taxobox as problematic.
The problem with one unified database is, that all users would find all
wikispecies data in the wikipedia space. But, WHICH wikipedia space?
Consequently having one database is impossible. As to the Wikispecies
being multi-lingual, at this moment in time two languages are the
languages of taxonominal science: English and Latin. So the question is
why should Wikispecies be multi-lingual, and should it be Latin or
English :) ? Obviously, Wikispecies would be a resource available from
within all wikipedia by the same syntax.
Using the taxons (species genus kingdom etc) as a category is in my view
not a great idea. The taxobox would be part of each article and
consequently the information would already be there.
> This is certainly incorrect. It *is* widely believed that Soviet texts
> dating prior to 1973 (when the USSR became party to the relevant
> convention) may be freely used and considered public domain, but this is
> almost certainly untrue from a legal standpoint, and copyrighted
> material produced subsequent to that date is as protected as this
> message (moreso, perhaps).
The relevant US law is Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 104
In essense, if the work was first published in a country which was not a
party to a copyright agreement with the United States at the time, it is
mostly likely not covered under US copyright law. Note that I only say most
likely. I'm not a lawyer, and I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty
details and exceptions. Also, the laws of other countries will likely
AFAIK and IANAL, Russian laws on copyright do not exist. Therefore
Russian resources are different. It may be that after the collapse of
the USSR the copyright laws have changed, but I am not aware of that.
PS correct me where I am wrong.
Let me first say that I have supported Daniel Mayers objections on this
issue on his talkpage because I find it much easier than answering a
mailinglist digest, but here I am. Until now, I find Till's approach
the best one, if not dismissing it altogether (as a Wikimedia project)
> Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 20:47:47 +0200
> From: Gerard Meijssen <gerardm(a)myrealbox.com>
> > By contrast, if I proposed importing my database of 147,000+ types
> > of postage stamps, about half of all types known, I bet a lot of
> > people would say "too much detail for the encyclopedia!" :-)
> > Stan
> When you want to import your database on stamps, I personally would
> mind. Propably it would be a great thing if it is were accompanied by
> pictures. I am pretty sure there are loads of people who would really
> welcome it. It would make wikipedia an important resource on stamps.
> nl: we have a chess entheuasiast. He has written a zillion articles
> chess including chess players. Why not ?
I also welcome your stamps database, please bring it in.
> A scientific description of a taxon is in Latin sometimes in English.
> is latin gooblediegook. It is relevant for those who can read it. I
> to see that several hundred thousant articles like this (overly
> optimistic, this will only happen in 25 years if at all, not that
> articles do not exist) would be appreciated by the average Wikipedia
> user. When an authorised version of the scientific description is
> uploaded, it should be locked against further editing. The value is
> it being the original description.
I don't think that the average user would "appreciate" [[D�mt]] (800 BC
kingdom in Ethiopia, from my watchlist) much either, but does it thus
belong in "Wikihistory"?
What you describe above is not wiki, hence it will not benefit from the
wiki process, or the wiki community, it also does not fit with
"_Wiki_media" (I am not hereby defining the means of which the
Wikimedia Foundation may use to reach their goals).
I am sure there are many subjects on the wikipedia that I do not
understand, but that does not mean that they belong to another
I could imagine that one of these rare species have some special
relation to my homecounty (infact I know there are many), thus they
should be mentioned in Wikipedia articles concerning f.ex. [[Mushrooms
of my homecounty]]. If I was interested (and I imagine I would be) I
could continue to the taxa information, learn, and if you're lucky
contribute (by spelling the homecounty mention right). If you were to
lock this down to "scientifically approved members" you would never
benefit from all the "scientific amateurs" out there.
Off course it would be nice to make a professional advanced database
maintained by scientist and all, but what is wiki in that? Why use the
I'd also like to comment on Anthere's reply. She seemed to imply that
there is some kind of limit to what the Wikipedia should describe.
AFAIK there is the NPOV rule, no original research, encyclopedic rule
and then the noticeability rule (?) so frequently cited on vfd.
It is the last one that can be really limiting, where would you put the
line? The line could have been drawn at "what Encyclop�dia Brittanica
include", but then we would never become "the biggest" encyclopedia.
The information that Wikipedia (or Wikimedia) produces, however, can be
distributed in all the ways that the GFDL permit. Wikipedia CD /
Wikipedia 1.0 / Wikipedia scientifically peer-reviewed / Wikipedia
Brittanica, and so on. The more things are split up, the less they will
benefit from the breadth of the community, the less they will benefit
from each other. If the Wikipedia at an early point was split up in the
Technical Pedia, Medical Pedia, and so on we wouldn't be anywhere near
where we are today (I think).
The above mentioned points emphasize why it is so important to get a
universal login where you can have a universal watchlist, recent
changes etcetera for all the MediaWiki projects and languages. Then
they could truly start to benefit from each other.
And when you could move and copy (for translation) articles between
projects, we would have an easy way to move and use content between the
projects without breaking the GFDL (contributor history).
If we are to effectively expand from making an encyclopedia to
producing useful, factual, NPOV and free information for the world (or
as the by-laws state "encourage the further growth and development of
content, social sofware WikiWiki-based projects [...] and
to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of
charge") I think we need to focus more on how to most effectively
produce this information. The first major step is to give users one
interface from where they can work on and monitor all projects in all
languages, using the interface-language of their own choice.
I know I have gone lenghts outside this thread now, but I hope I am
within the boundaries of the list. I have been wanting to say a lot of
this for a long time now, but it has been timeconsuming and diffcult to
"put on paper", hope I didn't fail miserably or just repeat what others
have said tens of times before.
> PS on http://www.zin.ru/Animalia/Coleoptera/eng/glaresi.htm there is
> picture. As this is a Russian website it may be public domain..
Why does Russian imply PD?
I have read with amusement the arguments why the Wikispecies project may
not be a good idea by some of the ToL people. As much as I admire the
work that went into the ToL and still goes into the ToL, it is also a
project that has proven in the past that it is not open and willing to
cooperate outside of its own project. When I asked to consider
cooperation to come to a universal wikipedia taxobox, the answer was
look at all our previous discussions things have been decided,, no we
won't have that all over again.
The Wikispecies can have aspects that the current ToL does not have. It
could have all published names with links to the author and the people
making up the author attribute and obviously the publication. It could
specify the basionym. It could specify what the next revision of a
description is with the author, the persons, the publication data. It
could have the scientific description as they are inherently public
domain. It could have pictures from WikiCommons. It could have the nomen
nudum, the nomen
If your interested I have a 80Mb MS/Access database with plant taxonomy
that could be used for its datadesign. It is inherently relational and
non wiki. It is not perfect but I know what is wrong with it.
Dear Wikipedia-I readers!
I am a graduate student of zoology at the University of Cambridge (though
Austrian) and would like to share an idea for an urgent Wikipedia project. I
contacted Jimbo Wales before and approach to you with his clear support for
Biologists who classify new species normally publish in specialized esoteric
journals, which has led to an overwhelming amount of information with nobody
keeping an overview. Even experts in very specialized fields often dont
notice if a species has been formally recorded twice, three times or even
more often. Therefore, it is not known how many species there are known
and this is just as ridiculous as it sounds. We are not talking about all
species that EXIST on earth - but simply the total number of species that
were already RECORDED in scientific publications. Nobody knows how many
there are. Expert A might think that there are 17 000 annelids known, expert
B believes to know about 20 000. This is because there is no central
registration process and no database or reference directory to browse
information about the current state of knowledge on a particular species.
This situation can be summarized with two statements:
1.) A central, more extensive database for taxonomy is urgently needed. All
their advantages are demonstrated strikingly by bases like www.wikipedia.org
2.) A central, more extensive database for taxonomy is feasible. Wikipedia
proved the technical feasibility; other existing species directories like
www.fishbase.org or http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/index.html
prove the need for this kind of a database and the willingness of
volunteers to make the commitment to contribute.
Based on these key statements, I define two major tasks:
1.) Figure out how the contents of the data base would need to be presented
by asking experts, potential non-professional users and comparing that
with existing data bases. My part.
2.) Figure out how to do the software, which hardware is required and how to
cover the costs by asking experts, looking for fellow volunteers and
And this is why I really need Wikipedia. I am a zoologist. Animal stuff.
Theres a lot of geeky-ness in me, but of the bug-kind rather then the
tech-kind, and therefore, I need support on this side. Cambridge provides a
pool of knowledge, experts and a good name for great scientific achievements
and Wikipedia has a big pool of passionate people who believe in the
freedom of information and sharing knowledge. Wikipedia also has the skills
of supporting my plans with the software that is required. The idea of this
project is still very young, although others have tried similar things
before. Alas, nobody has access to know-how and the passion of the WWW
community to the extend that Wikipedia has it and that is required to
Previous work with similar targets
In molecular biology and genetics open databases for genes or proteins are
already very important, only taxonomy, the most internet-related of all
sciences, still lacks the advantages of an online network. Due to that lack,
there are already some databases that tried to establish species
directories. The most important ones are Integrated Taxonomic Information
System (www.itis.usda.gov/) focusing on species of North America and its
European equivalent Species 2000 (www.sp2000.org/). Both directories try to
connect other, existing databases to an integrated unit. Furthermore, there
are ambitious commitments by the ALL Species Foundation
(http://www.all-species.org/) with much ado about almost nothing, a small
but charming database from the University of Michigan
http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/index.html) and other, partly
commercial directories. All these websites have some things in common: They
lack of funding, are mismanaged, created for experts and scientists, limited
to a particular group of species or a region, or face other difficulties. To
put it in a nutshell: There is a need for www.wikispecies.org!
Please support this idea. I am highly motivated to work on this project. I
hope that a lot of passion for it will develop in others, there is already a
lot in me. Thank you very much in advance. Kind regards,
Benedikt M. Mandl
Department of Zoology
Cambridge CB2 1ST
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Would it be possible to search for a word in the (whole or a part) of the wikipedia "corpus", not just in the tables of keywords?
If yes, how and when?
If not, would you see the advantages of such a feature?
>Roozbeh Pournader wrote:
>> One other question would be "is the personal attacks policy limited
>> the English Wikipedia?"
>No, it is global. Personal attacks are not helpful in the creation of
>high quality encyclopedia and a healthy, caring community.
are there any other policies that you consider global?