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Abstract Detail



A Single Symbiota-based Herbarium Network for the US

Barkworth, Mary [1], Buckley, Steve [2].

A Single Symbiota-based Herbarium Network in the US.

Currently there are 10 different herbarium networks in the US, 8 of which use Symbiota to display information and 1 of which is moving to Symbiota. Although each has its own primary focus, there is significant overlap among them in the kinds of specimen records they host. This is particularly true of the regional networks, most of which accept records of all organismal groups housed in the herbaria of their region, no matter where the specimen was collected. The existence of multiple networks is a significant long term disadvantage to herbaria. It limits the ability to use the tools in Symbiota to accelerate data capture, georeferencing, and general data cleaning. The consequence is increased costs for initial digitization and maintenance. It also requires that numerous tasks, such as adding newly described taxa to a nomenclatural backbone, have to be conducted separately within each network. In addition, it is a major obstacle for applications that wish to interact directly with original records and record providers. This is particularly serious problem for the many federal agencies whose interests extend across the whole country. We suggest that development of a single Symbiota-based network would better serve the needs of both herbaria and the many users of herbarium data. Such a Symbiota-based network could be built with minimal impact on existing specialist networks and portals. It would draw the data herbaria are already providing into a common Symbiota network, extending the benefits derived from its duplicate discovery tools to be used across all herbaria while providing all users access to Symbiota's data management, cleaning tools, visualization, communication, and teaching tools without requiring that they be used. Development of a single Symbiota-based network would accelerate the rate at which records could be provided to iDigBio and facilitate increasing in their quality. It would also not affect workflows within a herbarium nor from a herbarium to an already existing Symbiota-based portal. A single national network would also appeal to several potential funding sources without impeding, and possibly aiding, sources currently open to taxonomic and regional networks. This aspect is particularly important as concerns rise about how to fund the ongoing maintenance of these digital resources on which we and non-botanical users are increasingly dependent. The colloquium is designed to provide an opportunity for hearing different perspectives on the above proposal and address the many questions that it raises, including those relating to funding and governance.


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1 - Utah State University, Department Of Biology, 5305 OLD MAIN HILL, Logan, UT, 84322-5305, USA
2 - Lassen Volcanic , PO Box 100, Mineral, CA, 96063, USA

Keywords:
Digitization
Herbarium networks
Symbiota
US Herbaria.

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: CO2001
Abstract ID:240
Candidate for Awards:None


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