Relational database design and implementation for biodiversity informatics

TitleRelational database design and implementation for biodiversity informatics
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsMorris, P. J.
KeywordsDatabasing, Mobilization
The complexity of natural history collection information and similar information within the scope of biodiversity informatics poses significant challenges for effective long term stewardship of that information in electronic form. This paper discusses the principles of good relational database design, how to apply those principles in the practical implementation of databases, and examines how good database design is essential for long term stewardship of biodiversity information. Good design and implementation principles are illustrated with examples from the realm of biodiversity information, including an examination of the costs and benefits of different ways of storing hierarchical information in relational databases. This paper also discusses typical problems present in legacy data, how they are characteristic of efforts to handle complex information in simple databases, and methods for handling those data during data migration.