The lack of access to the published biodiversity literature is still a challenge in the day-to-day business of taxonomists or researchers dealing with biodiversity-related questions. However, digitisation of literature is expensive and requires a lot of additional work on making the content available for extensive search and retrieval. Over the last few years a large number of library resources for taxonomists have been made available online through virtual libraries and search engines as well as digital libraries, e.g. Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) or the Virtual Library of Biology (vifabio).
A major goal of these initiatives is providing and facilitating open access to taxonomic literature for scientists world-wide. Integrated web tools like taxonomic intelligence (TI) allow search for taxon-specific biodiversity information and thus improve efficiency of research in biology. The key components for achieving this goal beside digitising literature are excellent portal tools for search and retrieval, the improvement of optical character recognition (OCR) and input from related projects contributing taxon names, synonymies and taxon specific bibliographies, e.g. Sp2000, uBio, Citebank or AnimalBase.
The symposium will provide an overview on existing and upcoming digital libraries for taxonomists – like the BHL-Europe portal and the Global References Index to Biodiversity (GRIB). Furthermore, relevant tools for taxonomists and recent improvements in their development will be presented (e.g. the EDIT Platform for Cybertaxonomy).
A crucial role in the improvement of these tools is the input from the users (taxonomists). It will be discussed how taxonomists can directly influence the development of virtual libraries, e.g. in prioritizing content for scanning, tagging content and modifying metadata (bibliographic, OCR). Participants of this symposium will be encouraged to start a vivid discussion on possible improvement of existing tools and future developments.
Private tweets of a scientific collaborator at the @africamuseumbe working for the @OpenUpEU project. bio from Twitter
Director of Center for Biodiversity Informatics, Missouri Botanical Garden & Technical Director, Biodiversity Heritage Library bio from Twitter
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