Science Gossip Talk

Any way to save work partway done? what counts as inscription? and species?

  • KristaFB by KristaFB

    I have stopped working in Science Gossip since I lost a map on which I had done more than 2 hours' work. I accidentally hit a wrong button on my screen or keyboard, and I was taken to some other place on the website. When I tried to get "back" to my object, I was presented a new object instead. I don't know the number of object I was working on, but the original publication link was to
    It is a very large ("foldout") page with many details, parts in French as well as English, text running in directions other than horizontal, many geological and geographical terms, and scores of species names. Three questions:
    (1) Is there any way to save my work on such a complex object before I'm "done" so that I don't accidentally lose the work or so that I can take a break and return to finish?
    (2) Am I correct that all the words on the page except for the title "COMPARATIVE TABULAR SECTIONS OF FOREIGN AND BRITISH UPPER OOLITIC, WEALDEN, AND NEOCOMIAN BEDS" are handwritten (in beautiful calligraphy) and therefore need to be marked and transcribed as inscriptions?
    (3) There are many species names written here (mostly scientific, some common) to the right of the stratigraphic layer in which they occur, but no pictures of the species. Should those species names be marked as species or as inscriptions?


  • geoffrey.belknap by geoffrey.belknap scientist

    Hi @KristaFB,

    I'm really sorry that you lost all that work - I can imagine how very frustrating that must be. Images of this size and complexity are really difficult, especially for the person doing the classification.

    To answer your questions - unfortunately we don't have a 'save your work' function during classification. To add this kind of function in requires a lot of back end support which would be hard to create, partially because we aim for each classification task to take a relatively short period of time. Cases like this page, however, do take a lot of time, but are not all that common.

    In terms of the question of inscription - in this case, the italicised text wouldn't be considered inscriptions. Lithographs allow for all different types of text to be included on the image. Inscriptions are actually pretty uncommon - we created the category to include bits of information that is somewhat outside the image. For instance - in the help section under tagging - we have an example of a crested hornbill, that includes writing on the bottom left hand side of the image. This would have been added to the image, rather than being part of it. So, in the page that you classified, the text, while looking like it could be added afterwards, is just another form of caption.

    Finally - in terms of the species labels - again this is a tricky question. We are looking for species labels that link us to images of those species. However, this page does give important information about species as they might be found in the ground. So I would say that adding classifications for each species would be helpful in this case - as it will help people on the BHL database looking for specific information on say - Ammonites - to be linked to this page.

    I hope that helps answer some of your questions. Again, I'm really sorry that you lost all that work, and can imagine how demoralising that must have been. I hope that you might give Science Gossip another try again soon, though.

    All the best,



  • KristaFB by KristaFB in response to geoffrey.belknap's comment.

    Thank you, Geoff. It sounds like I was marking too many items. I should instead have been creating a long list of keywords. I have attached a small portion of the image I was working on. You can see the slightly inconsistent letter shapes in the species names and the multiple exclamation points that led me to think that I was dealing with inscriptions throughout the image. I had marked everything you see there -- from "HASTINGS SANDS, 1000 feet" to "Ferns" -- as an inscription or a species name and typed it out. From what you have said, I should have marked nothing as an inscription and I should have marked only genera or binomial names as species names (e.g., skip "Ferns" but mark as species and data-enter "Iguanodon" and "Asteracanthus granulosus"). Is that correct?
    Portion of Comparative Tabular Sections... image
    With your guidance, I am more confident about returning to Science Gossip, and knowing that I should skip a really complicated image if I don't have the time or attention to do it all the way through in one sitting at the time it opens.


  • geoffrey.belknap by geoffrey.belknap scientist in response to KristaFB's comment.

    I'm glad that it was helpful - and we would be very happy to have you back classifying! What you have said is correct - especially for very complicated images like the one here, what is most useful is the species information - and hopefully, though multiple classifications we can fill out as much of the picture as possible. But in the end, you should definitely skip an image if it is too time consuming - and it is also ok to do a partial page. Remember, the work here is collaborative, so your answers don't have to be perfect. We get to reliable data by having multiple eyes on the same page.