There are more than 1600 biological collections (biocollections) in the United States. Scientists have amassed, annotated, and curated in those collections more than one billion specimens. These specimens and their associated data are maintained for research and education and to inform wise decisions about the environment, public health, food security, and commerce.
Recognizing the value of biocollections for research, education, and society, the biocollections community coalesced in 2010 to develop A Strategic Plan for Establishing a Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance (NIBA). The plan issues a strong and urgent call for an aggressive, coordinated, large-scale, and sustained effort to digitize the nation's biocollections in order to mobilize their data through the Internet.
In 2012, the biocollections community recognized a need for an implementation plan that explicitly identifies the corresponding actions, timelines, and milestones required to achieve the goals of the Strategic Plan. In September 2012, the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), with support from the National Science Foundation, convened a workshop of experts in biocollections, digitization, computer science, and other relevant fields to develop the Implementation Plan for NIBA.
In 2015 the Advisory Council for the Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance Research Coordination Network decided to rename the intiative to better convey goals and objectives. NIBA is now the Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN).
This plan reflects a coordinated and collaborative effort to realize the grand goals proposed by the biocollections community in the NIBA strategic plan. All are welcome and encouraged to participate. Read more at: http://www.aibs.org/public-policy/biocollections.html