International Society for Pest Information

Report of the 6th Meeting

Julius Kühn-Institute for Biological Control
Darmstadt, Germany
26 April 2010


1. Opening and adoption of the agenda

The meeting was opened by Johannes Jehle, Director of the Julius Kühn-Institute (JKI) for Biological Control. A list of the participants of the meeting is attached as Annex I. The provisional agenda, which corresponded to the numbered sections of this report was adopted.

2. Election of chairman and rapporteur for the meeting

Jürgen Gross served as chairman for the meeting. Olaf Zimmermann and Bernhard Zelazny agreed to be rapporteurs.

3. Discussion and voting on changing the articles of the Society for the election procedures

Jürgen Gross and Bernhard Zelazny explained that the Society has been informed by the German District Office for societies (Vereinsregister, Amtsgericht Darmstadt) that our voting procedures for the election of the Executive Committee have not been in accordance to the respective Government rules and laws. Although all past election results have been accepted by the office, it will be necessary for future elections to either change the articles of the society or the voting procedure. Basically, all members of the executive committee should be elected separately and not jointly as practised during the elections of the ISPI President and Vice President. Therefore, the procedure for electing the ISPI President and Vice President should be either changed or should be described in a special article of the Society by-laws. Since the election procedure had been discussed and approved repeatedly during ISPI meetings, it had been decided by the ISPI President to hold this special meeting for discussing and voting on a new article. During the announcement of the meeting in January 2010, a draft article was circulated to all members and those members unable to attend the meeting were asked to approve or reject the new article by e-mail. The version of the new article (no. 16a) circulated in January 2010 is shown in section A of Annex II. Four Society members who were not able to attend the meeting (see Annex I) had voted by e-mail in favour of including the new article in the Society's by-laws.

During the meeting, a modification of the text was proposed by Peter Ebling and discussed. During past elections each member had 2 votes for electing the President and Vice-President. The new proposal was to give each member only 1 vote for both positions. As before, the highest number of votes would elect the President and the 2nd highest number the Vice-President. The advantage of the modification would be that the election remains meaningful even with few candidates and few members participating. For example, it would reduce the possibility of two candidates receiving the same number of votes, as it happened during the last election in March 2009. The text of the modified article is shown in section B of Annex II.

The Government Office for societies had already indicated before the meeting that the version of the new article circulated in January 2010 would be acceptable. Since the meeting was not sure the modified version would be also acceptable to the Government Office it was decided to vote on both versions of the article, in order to avoid having to arrange another special meeting. Both versions of the article were adopted unanimously. This means the original text (section A in Annex II) was passed with 11 votes to none (including the 4 e-mail votes) and the modified version (section B in Annex II) with 7 votes to none. The modified text should be submitted to the Government Office for approval. However, in case there are objections from the side of that office to this version, the original version should be submitted.

4. Financial status and accounts for 2009

On behalf of the ISPI Finance Committee, Olaf Zimmermann and Peter Ebling summarized and circulated the ISPI accounts for 2009 (see Annex III). For 2009 the expenditures of the Society (Euro 1988) were slightly higher than the total income through CD sales (Euro 1761). At the beginning of 2009, the Society had an opening balance of Euro 7354 and at the end of 2009, a closing balance of Euro 7127. The ISPI Finance Committee had checked and approved the accounts for 2009.

In view of the need in the future for expert advice on software development, especially MediaWiki software, the Finance Committee had allocated the amount of Euro 2000 for such consultancies in February 2010. Consultancies through the company WikiWork (organized by Yaron Koren) have already started.

5. Collaboration with the Canadian Forest Service on a database of insect producers

Peter Ebling described the Insect Producer Database of the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) which had been initiated in 2006 as a service to the scientific community and which had been expanded in 2008 to include mites and nematodes. In 2008, collaboration has started with ISPI with the aim to incorporate the ISPI data on producers of beneficial insects, mites and nematodes into the CFS database and to jointly update, maintain and improve the database in the future. The CFS database is currently being re-designed and upgraded, which, however, is delayed because the IT specialist involved has been assigned additional tasks.

In connection to the collaboration with the CFS a discussion started on the difficulties of establishing productive collaboration with other organizations and several approaches had not been successful. However, the collaboration with IPMnet (Oregon State University) since 2005 was cited as an example of a very successful partnership.

6. Wikipedia project

A MediaWiki project had been initiated by ISPI recently which was demonstrated and discussed in detail during the meeting. The ISPI wiki, named "Pest Information Wiki", is now hosted by the biowikifarm network and Gregor Hagedorn presented an outline of the biowikifarm during the meeting. Bernhard Zelazny circulated a brief review of the history of the ISPI Mediawiki project to the meeting participants (see Annex IV). The discussions during the meeting helped to clarify a number of specific aspects of the ISPI wiki, like copyright issues or how to organize the ISPI data on scientists and professionals.

Jürgen Gross
Olaf Zimmermann and Bernhard Zelazny

Annex I

6th ISPI meeting - participants

Members participating in the meeting:

Martin Damus
Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Ottawa, Canada

Peter Ebling
Canadian Forest Service, Sault Ste Marie, Canada

Jürgen Gross
JKI Dossenheim, Germany

Gregor Hagedorn
JKI Berlin, Germany

Jürgen Langewald
BASF, Limburgerhof, Germany

Bernhard Zelazny
Griesheim, Germany (retired)

Olaf Zimmermann
JKI Darmstadt, Germany

Members participating in the voting on changing the articles of the Society by e-mail, but who were not attending the meeting:

Allan E. Deutsch
Michel Lecoq
Christian U. Pantenius
Regina Sugayama

Annex II

6th ISPI meeting - new article

Section A

Text of Society article no. 16a proposed to members by e-mail in January 2010:

"(16a) During the election of the Executive Committee the President and Vice-President are elected together and each society member has two votes for them. The highest number of votes will elect the President and the 2nd highest number the Vice-President."

Section B

Modified text of Society article no. 16a adopted during the ISPI meeting in April 2010:

"(16a) During the election of the Executive Committee the President and Vice-President are elected together and each society member has one vote for them. The person receiving the highest number of votes will be elected as President and the person receiving the 2nd highest number of votes will be elected as Vice-President."

Annex III

International Society for Pest Information

Accounts for 2009 (currency Euro)




Opening balance, 1st January 2009



Income from sale of 42 CDs



CD production



Costs for internet page and e-mail account



Postage, telephone, bank charges



Other expenses






Balance as of 31st Dec. 2009



Presented by the ISPI Finance Committee

Peter Ebling
Jürg Huber
Olaf Zimmermann

Annex IV

The current status of the ISPI Pest Information Wiki (Apr. 2010)


During the 2006 and 2008 German Plant Protection Meetings, Olaf Zimmermann gave 2 presentations in which current internet search systems, in particular literature searches were discussed. The presentations were based on discussions between various ISPI members. Examples of problems included how to formulate a search term (e.g. "nontarget" vs. "non-target"), how to search for synonyms (e.g. "Heliothis armigera" vs. "Helicoverpa armigera"), or the ambiguity in many journals on the use of keywords. While literature indexing systems address such difficulties, few are freely available and they require training for the user to make full use of their features. On the other hand, the ISPI Pest Directory database has been designed to facilitate literature search in the field of pest management, but is only available as a CD.

During a special ISPI meeting in Darmstadt in November 2008 (attended by Jürgen Gross, Olaf Hering, Bernhard Zelazny, and Olaf Zimmermann) and during the regular 5th ISPI meeting in Göttingen in March 2009, the topic was further discussed. During these meetings it was concluded that ISPI should try to convert its Pest Directory into a free on-line Wikipedia-type information system. In addition, it became clear during 2009 that new software systems like Windows 7 and MS-Office2010 would make it difficult to issue new editions of the Pest Directory database CD.

It was envisaged that a Wikipedia-type information system based on the ISPI Pest Directory database could be used by everybody. Scientists could enter and index their own publications on pests, diseases and weeds. Collaboration with journals would be desirable, and the journals could request the authors to enter their publications into the system.

Activities until April 2010:

ISPI work on a Wikipedia-type information system started in autumn 2009, after some preliminary discussions in May 2009 and after an additional edition of the Pest Directory database CD was produced in September 2009. It became clear that the Wikipedia software is a flexible and powerful system which, however, requires some experience for setting and adjusting its different features and for maintenance. Further it has some limitations for developing database-type information systems.

Initially, the Wikipedia software was installed and tested on the ISPI 1&1 server. However, our current contract with this server has a size limit of 100 MB for each database. This would not allow to enter all our literature data into a wiki. Fortunately, the biowikifarm network ( offered to host our Pest Information Wiki and Gregor Hagedorn, who has a key role in running this network, has been very helpful in setting up the Pest Information Wiki and in advising on different aspects of the development work. The Pest Information Wiki is now available at the biowikifarm at while the wiki on the 1&1 server ( continues to be used for testing.

Since February 2010 we are receiving intermittent advice on the development work from the specialized consultancy company Wikiworks. An initial framework for data input has now been developed based on the Semantic Mediwiki extension which provides database features. Also different options for querying and displaying the data are being discussed and tested. The discussions during this meeting should help to make further progress on these issues. While we still face some problems due to the special structure of our data we anticipate that we will be able to develop a basic data structure for the Pest Information Wiki during the remainder of 2010 and we hope that by the end of 2011 we have a usable system into which most of our Pest Directory data have been imported.