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Abstract Detail


Building a High-Resolution, Specimen-Based Picture of Life: Possibilities and Challenges

Schulz, Katja [1], Hammock, Jennifer [2], Parr, Cynthia [2].

Using the Encyclopedia of Life to Disseminate Specimen-Based Science to Global Audiences.

The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL, eol.org) is building a globally accessible, reusable collection of descriptive information about all species known to science. To achieve this goal, we collaborate with natural history museums, research consortia, and citizen science initiatives on six continents. More than 200 partner projects provide content for over 900,000 taxa, and over 1.2 million taxon pages have links to the literature, made available through the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL). Most data are provided by professional biologists, but contributions from the public are encouraged and facilitated through data harvests of popular sites like Flickr, YouTube, and Wikipedia. The text, maps, images, videos, and sounds we aggregate from our partners are made available through web and application programming interfaces. EOL has over 50,000 registered members, including over 700 expert curators. A suite of tools for participation and interaction supports the collaborative review, sorting, rewriting, translation, and annotation of content. While managing specimen data is out of scope for EOL, information derived from vouchered biological research collections is of great value to our users. In addition to images and details about type specimens, we are interested in featuring summaries and visualizations of specimen data, e.g., about geographic distribution, habitat, phenology, and biological associations. On EOL taxon pages, this information will complement materials from other sources, giving EOL members the opportunity to take part in the discovery of patterns and inconsistencies in the data. Collaboration between the biological collections community and EOL will increase global access to specimen data thus raising public awareness of the significance of vouchered natural history collections.

Broader Impacts:


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Related Links:
Encyclopedia of Life


1 - Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street & Constitution Avenue, Washington, DC , 20013-7012, USA
2 - Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street & Constitution Avenue, Washington, DC, 20013-7012, United States

Keywords:
biodiversity informatics
natural history data
global collaboration
open access.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY11
Location: Franklin A/Hyatt
Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Time: 5:15 PM
Number: SY11015
Abstract ID:673


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