People need credit for the work they do to make collections and collections data a reality. To do this well, our biocollections community needs robust standards and methods to support this information. Many will reap the benefits of such tracking including those collecting, geoereferencing, and identifying specimens, and those capturing data. To see one example of the benefits of being able to tell who did what to which specimen, have a look at bloodhound.shorthouse.net.
To do this work, we need identifiers for people (both alive and dead), and we need defined roles and tasks. In addition, we will need to know where to put this information in our local databases, and how to export it so that it can be used in such resources as bloodhound.shorthouse.net.
The EU-funded project, MOBILISE, designed to support the upcoming DiSSCo Project, hosts a meeting on March 12-13 to gather expertise and momentum on this topic. iDigBio is invited to bring their expertise to this event. The organizers also note this event is a kick-off session which will have a follow-up session at Biodiversity Next in Leiden in October.
Abstract: The drive to digitise the Natural History Collections of the world has the potential to link massive amounts of biodiversity and cultural data across time and place. However, the level to which this will enable the cross-discipline research and analysis that we aspire to is dependent on being able to make the connections effectively between the data. The long-standing issues of linking biodiversity data through people such as the collector, determiner, author have still not been fully resolved, although innovative approaches are being proposed and tested. There are options to manage authorities including the use of existing persistent identifiers for these entities and their utility and suitability need to be considered. Importantly, any system will need to enable links to contemporary and historic resources from all sciences and cultural disciplines. This workshop will bring together key contributors from across the relevant range of disciplines to agree a strategy for adoption and implementation for the authority management of people names in Natural History Collections and cross-discipline research and exposure.