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Citation of assessments

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Saved by Ariadne Angulo
on August 30, 2010 at 8:42:06 pm

Given the wide range of citation formats used by the different IUCN Specialist Groups, IUCN's Species Information System (SIS) allows for a variety of approaches to be used within its platform. This gives the different user groups greater flexibility on how to cite assessments, in such a way that what is listed in the Assessor(s) field can be completely different to what appears in the citation (Red List Assessment Authors field under Red List Assessment section>Publication Information tab). The default setting in SIS is that if the citation field is not filled in, then it uses whatever is in the Assessor(s) field.


In the specific case of amphibians, in June 2009 a proposal to change the Global Amphibian Assessment citation system was sent out to ASG Regional Chairs for their assessment. Development of this proposal was prompted by feedback relating to the system implemented in the 2004 comprehensive assessment and our own experience in conducting updates to the database.


The key proposed change was a modification as to how individual amphibian species assessments are cited on the IUCN Red List. Previously, the citation format would list all of the experts who have ever been involved in determining a species’ conservation assessment i.e. all of the “assessors”. The evaluators/reviewers for these species would be, in most cases, the GAA Coordinating Team. Over the course of database updates subsequent to the 2004 comprehensive assessment, several issues around the use of this format became obvious to us, i.e. if a species is reassessed, should we remove all previous assessors (and include only the new assessors) or leave them there? How do we determine order of assessors for the purpose of citation, especially if additional people assist with assessment updates?


The IUCN Red List amphibian database changed its base operating system in 2009 and is now housed within SIS. This is a standardized system used for all assessments and all taxonomic groups within the Red List. The new system now includes, in addition to assessor and evaluator/reviewer fields, a field for contributors. This additional field provides us with the opportunity to change the way we cite individual assessments. Our proposal was to use this additional field to standardize the citation format for all individual species as follows:


Assessors: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG)

Evaluators (this term will be changed to Reviewers in the future): Evaluator/reviewer names, typically members of the Amphibian Specialist Group Red List Authority (ASG RLA) and/or members of the IUCN Species Programme

Contributors: A list of all the people who have contributed to the assessment, past and present, listed in alphabetical order


Implementing this proposal changes how amphibian species accounts on the Red List are cited. An example of how this new arrangement would read would be as follows:


IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 200x. Amietophrynus brauni. In: IUCN 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.1


In certain circumstances, partner groups or organizations may be included as assessors and evaluators/reviewers external to the RLA may be included as evaluators/reviewers. This approach is similar to the system used by BirdLife International, the Red List Authority for birds.


The citation proposal received generally limited feedback, but from what was received most comments were positive. The citation change is being slowly implemented as new groups begin to take on the role of assessors and as previous assessors are entered into SIS (people cannot be added as contributors unless they are entered in SIS as users via a valid email address).






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