SPNHC 2014: Progress in Digitization: iDigBio's Biospex System for Engaging the Public in Digitization

TitleSPNHC 2014: Progress in Digitization: iDigBio's Biospex System for Engaging the Public in Digitization
Publication TypePresentation
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsEllwood, Elizabeth R., Mast Austin R., Bruhn Robert, Spinks Jeremy, and Riccardi Greg
KeywordsBiospex, Citizen Science, digitization, digitization management, iDigBio, SPNHC 2014, SPNHC 2014: Progress in Digitization
AbstractNew web resources provide scientists opportunities to engage the public in ways and at scales not previously possible. Many ecological and environmental citizen science projects focus on generating present-day occurrence data on populations, species, and communities to address urgent societal challenges, such as the extinction crisis and biotic responses to climate change. Biodiversity research collections provide the opportunity to produce the important historical and present-day baseline data on distributions with which to compare the new observations and project future change. However, the majority of information about the specimens in these collections has yet to be digitized. Public engagement might provide an important strategy to accelerate digitization. Out of a 2012 workshop emerged the idea of an iDigBio public participation in digitization management system, which would permit the creation of record sets of incomplete specimen data and/or images from the iDigBio Cloud, management of their digitization using collaborating citizen science tools, monitoring of digitization progress, advertisement of the projects on the go-to sites for members of the public interested in citizen science, and return of the new data to the data providers and those involved in the digitization. We will introduce this emerging system, called Biospex for Biodiversity Specimen Expeditions. We will provide an overview of the management system and its interoperability with biodiversity specimen data management systems and citizen science tools via Darwin Core Archive and Ecological Markup Language files.