Can one ever have too many factsheets on the baobab?

by Luigi Guarino on October 6, 2011

Baobab pepsi
Fresh on the heels of Bioversity’s ‘African Priority Food Tree Species’ factsheet on the baobab, which was itself fresh on the heels of the Agroforestree database factsheet on the baobab, we now have, again from Bioversity, another, ahem, factsheet on the baobab. Well, this is different. I think. It’s part of a series on neglected and underutilized species. Or maybe nutritious and underutilized, as they are also described on the website. Maybe because it’s becoming difficult to call the baobab neglected. In fact, with the recent update of a review of the use of the species, perhaps the time has come for a meta-factsheet on the baobab.

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Michael October 7, 2011 at 8:26 am

These factsheets can be nice corporate/project hand-outs, if well done, but otherwise a waste of time. When I need information on baobab or other useful plants, I certainly will not go to an institutional website to look for factsheets. I google, and what usually comes up is a Wikipedia article (as for baobab) with oftentimes far better information. Would the resources and time spent on fact sheets not be better allocated to contributing to Wikipedia and other open source repositories of knowledge/pictures/documents. That may entail (in the case of Wikipedia) struggling with other editors about content, and no obvious attribution. Unfortunately, donors, managers, and institutions don’t provide incentives for projects/staff to contribute to public domain knowledge repositories (if that is the correct term for Wikipedia, WikiCommons, Google Books, etc.).

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