Encyclopedia of Life presentation on Identification Key resources

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Identification Key resources presentation by Leo Shapiro for EOL Fellows Workshop

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Encyclopedia of Life presentation on Identification Key resources

  1. 1. Identification Keys and EOL Leo Shapiro Species Pages Group, Rapid Response lshapiro@eol.org
  2. 2. Identification Keys and EOL • Potential for ID resources on EOL • Initiate some discussion re. what role you see for keys on EOL and how you think they might best be implemented
  3. 3. Identification Keys, EOL, and You For keys from other sources, you could make an “Identification Resources” subchapter on your LifeDesk where you could add links to keys or other resouces
  4. 4. Identification Keys, EOL, and You Ideally, help EOL establish a partnership with your preferred key-building resource so that links to new keys could be made automatically for all taxa for which the new key is relevant
  5. 5. Identification Keys: The Dream A website that has easily accessible, easy-to-use, very flexible, well illustrated, highly authoritative, and ultra-up-to-date identification keys to all organisms from all parts of the world Appropriate keys for target audiences ranging from elementary school students to taxonomic specialists EOL is a natural outlet for these resources, particularly if we are trying to build our value for working scientists
  6. 6. Identification Keys: The Reality It’s awfully hard to build keys that meet all—or even any—of these criteria: easily accessible flexible, easy to use well-illustrated authoritative and up-to-date appropriate geographic scope But it’s easier than ever before!
  7. 7. The Universe of Identification Keys Dichotomous keys I love them…but I also • still listen to music almost exclusively on CDs • have never paid a utility bill online • have never “friended” someone on Facebook 1969 1970 1977 1978
  8. 8. The Universe of Identification Keys Dichotomous keys- So 20th Century! Matrix-based keys • are based on a matrix of taxa and character states • allow the user to score characters in any order • do not require that the matrix be completely filled in by the key builder—and certainly not by the user • generally provide a very large number of paths to any particular taxon • are potentially far more tolerant of user uncertainty and error
  9. 9. Interactive Matrix Key Building Tools Lucid:http://www.lucidcentral.com/ Discover Life: http://www.discoverlife.org/ Many others (e.g., see handout) Please share with us your own experiences with these or other tools!
  10. 10. Discover Life Online ID Keys Building and using keys is free and (relatively) straightforward; very flexible Anyone with web access can build a key; anyone with web access can use a key made available on DL (can download, too) Can provide character state illustrations Extremely easy to update or correct errors When building or using keys, overscoring avoids mistaken taxon elimination due to variation in organisms or interpretation
  11. 11. EOL, ID KEYS, AND YOU EOL is a work-in-progress All you Rubenstein Fellows and mentors are pioneers in the effort to quickly take it to the next level -- we need your ideas and input!

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