Abstract Detail



Biodiversity Informatics & Herbarium Digitization

Knox, Eric [1].

How to convince your institution to digitize its herbarium.

As herbarium director or curator, you are responsible for the 4-part mission of preservation, research, education, and public service, but it is not your herbarium.  That facility is an irreplaceable institutional asset worth millions of dollars.  The fifth part of your mission is to educate the ever-changing parade of administrators who may not understand what an herbarium is, or why it is important.  The Indiana University Herbarium (IND; 160,000 specimens) was completely curated, reorganized according to APG3, imaged, transcribed, and georeferenced in a 5-year project that mostly employed student workers, at a cost of about $750,000.  The institutional funding strategy was simple: 1) Band together with other natural history collections on campus to present the need for common cyberinfrastructure support, just like other institutional functions; 2) Ask your Office of Risk Management (or comparable title) to conduct a risk assessment and valuation of the herbarium that is detailed in a short, written report; 3) Invite the appropriate hierarchy of campus administrators to tour the herbarium, accompanied by faculty members and graduate students who provide short testimonials about the role of the herbarium in their research; 4) Explain that the herbarium is one of 3,000 facilities that form a collaborative global network providing environmental ‘big data’; 5) Give a departmental seminar on Digital Herbaria in the 21st Century, so that your colleagues understand and support your efforts; 6) Provide individual demonstrations of the finished product from a completely digitized herbarium; 7) Emphasize the increasingly stringent federal requirements for data management plans, and emerging standards for digital publication; and 8) Submit a funding request in which your department, college, and upper administration share the cost of this one-time service project that provides paid learning opportunities to students and contributes to your institution’s public service.


1 - Indiana University, Department Of Biology, 1001 East Third Street, Bloomington, IN, 47405, USA

Keywords:
herbarium
digitization
specimen imaging
georeferencing
data management
public service.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number:
Abstract ID:218
Candidate for Awards:None


Copyright © 2000-2019, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved