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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Records yield 200 years of fish population data

Dave Mosher's article Old, Ignored Records Yield 200 Years of Fish Population Data was published on Nov. 19, 2010 in Wired Science. Headlines such as "Old, Ignored Records" always make me smile--were they truly ignored? Hadn't they been cataloged and preserved in a library or archive? Of course, the article also uses the phrase "digging up," which also makes me smile--the researchers probably used carefully constructed catalogs and finding aids.

At any rate, the purpose to which they put these records was novel, using them as data sources for fish populations, and Dave Moser's article does provide a wonderful overview of their research, as well as a reminder that we can't always anticipate the future value of the materials preserved in libraries in archives.

Luckily, the product of the research, Coding Early Naturalists' Accounts into Long-Term Fish Community Changes in the Adriatic Sea (1800–2000) by Tomaso Fortibuoni, Simone Libralato, Saša Raicevich, Otello Giovanardi, and Cosimo Solidoro, is available for free online, including their interesting list of books that were analyzed as "Table S1," available as a Word document.


Buck said...

Wow, nice link!

Heather said...

Thanks, Buck!