A Single Symbiota-based Herbarium Network for the US
Buckley, Steve , Barkworth, Mary .
A Single Symbiota-based Herbarium Network for the US.
Currently there are over 10 different herbarium networks in the US. Although each has its own primary focus, there is significant overlap among them for 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 becoming a significant long term disadvantage to herbaria. It limits the ability to use already existing tools that help with duplicate discovery to accelerate data capture, georeferencing, and general data cleaning. The consequence is increased maintenance costs and requires that numerous tasks, such as adding newly described taxa to a nomenclatural backbone, have to be conducted separately within each network that is accepting records. This is also a major obstacle for applications that 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 including government agencies. As opposed to having multiple networks using different systems. 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 and provide all users access to Symbiota's data management, visualization, communication, and teaching tools. Similarly, development of a single Symbiota-based network would not affect any records sent to iDigBio, nor would it affect workflows within a herbarium nor from a herbarium to an already existing Symbiota-based portal. A national network would appeal to funding sources because of its scale, especially collaborative funding, which would be harder to obtain for a taxonomic or regional network without detracting from the ability of such networks to appeal to funding sources with a narrower interest. This aspect is particularly important as concerns rise about how to fund the ongoing maintenance of these digital resources on which we are becoming 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 of the proposed network.
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1 - National Park Service
2 - Utah State University, Department Of Biology, 5305 OLD MAIN HILL, Logan, UT, 84322-5305, USA
Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Candidate for Awards:None