Database turnaround

The national UK fungal records database of the ABFG

Database turnaround

Postby Mal Greaves » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:36 am

I have and will continue to submit my finds to both CATE and FRDBI but how different they are working at the moment. Records to one are online within a few days of being entered and although I have never thought it was particularly important to have this rapid turnaround compare with the other database where almost no records submitted for 2010 have yet been uploaded.

Malcolm Greaves
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Re: Database turnaround

Postby admin » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:40 am

There are, I think, some common though understandable misconceptions about UK fungus records databases, and clarifying them may shed some light on matters.

There is a widely held belief among field people that the FRDBI is an official 'BMS database'. It isn't, and the criticism that the ABFG in some way challenged, or worse, usurped BMS control over mycological data is wholly unfounded, because the BMS has never claimed that control. One of the bedrock reasons for the Association launching CATE was to provide effective data services for the field community and agencies, through a data system owned by the field community and responding to its requirements.

Some positions are explained in correspondence from which the following extracts are taken:

Paul Kirk, 26 May, 2008, circulated to all members of the Fungus Conservation Forum: "I currently hold no formal office in the British Mycological Society, my role as manager of the FRDBI is not formally recognized."

Brian Spooner, 03 February 2009: "The FRD although managed through Paul Kirk, is not a BMS database, hence the change of acronym from BMSFRD."

The FRDBI is privately owned. Conversely the CATE data system is owned and financed by the ABFG (while the data remains the property of those who delivered it). It has received, and continues to receive, substantial cash investment through ABFG members and supporting organisations including the National Trust. It purchases professional IT input through our contractual links with Mediatopia, in order to guarantee provision, and continued provision of the level of service, interaction, and technical standards that are essential to today's field mycology. It is run on a dedicated web server (not borrowed space or cloud sharing) for which the Association maintains a formal contract. It is operated and managed through a team of 5, so it can never be dependent on one person.

CATE2 certainly should be running up to speed and delivering. These things, which the Association operates through voluntary support, but pays for in their technical development, make a difference.

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