9.453 collaborative scholarship online

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Fri, 12 Jan 1996 19:32:22 -0500 (EST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 453.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)

[1] From: RJOHARA@steffi.uncg.edu (29)
Subject: Collaborative scholarship on the net

Willard is always on the lookout for interesting examples of scholarly
computing, so I offer this exemplary web project being run by two of
my colleagues in evolutionary biology. It is a distributed tree of life
that researchers can add to all around the world. Humanists might be
able to produce similar projects, such as a distributed network of
data on language genealogy, or historical geography using maps.

Bob O'Hara (rjohara@iris.uncg.edu)

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From: tree@ag.arizona.edu (David Maddison)
Date: 5 Jan 1996 22:19:29 GMT
Subject: Tree of Life: grand opening

The Tree of Life Project is having its grand opening today, 5 January 1996.

The project is a collection of WWW pages. Each page contains information
about a group of organisms: a phylogeny, introduction, characteristics,
discussion of phylogenetic relationships, references, and so on. The
pages are linked together (with, for example, the terminal taxon name
Green Plants on the Crown Eukaryotes page being a hypertext link to the
Green Plants page), so that combined they form a phylogenetic tree of all
living organisms.

The eventual goal is to have this Tree complete to the species level in
many different groups of organisms. This is being accomplished with the
help of many collaborators: there are currently over 120 contributors to
the project.

The pages are distributed over the web, so that different branches of the
Tree reside on different computers. Today there are 948 pages in the
Tree, on seven different computers on two continents. Both the number of
pages, and the completeness of each page, will grow through time.

While the project has been online for a little over a year, it has never
been formally announced. For this grand opening, numerous contributors
produced pages of various groups including vertebrates, frogs, green
plants, beetles, jumping spiders, etc. There is now a searchable index of
taxon names. And lots more pictures.

The URL for the home page of the project is:


David Maddison
Wayne Maddison

David R. Maddison
Department of Entomology
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721

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