|"Monophyletic tree of organisms". Ernst Haeckel: Generelle Morphologie der Organismen, etc. Berlin, 1866. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
TreeSnatcher Plus has recently made a number of improvements on its predecessor and it was great to see that they benchmarked it against the same dataset as TreeRipper which contained phylogenies from the open access BMC Evolutionary Biology. They state that the average time for processing was 160s per phylogeny. I was interested to see how long it would take to digitise all the phylogenies produced to date. Assuming that all papers with phylogen* in the title has an image of a phylogeny, there are 734,585 published phylogenies according to ISI Web of Knowledge, that would require 4 years to digitise. The result might not be so bleak if Pubmed represents a more accurate number of phylogenies: 131,659 articles which would require a little under 1 year to digitise semi-automatically.
O.K. these numbers a pie in the sky but can we afford this wasted time?