WeDigBio 2018

The biodiversity collections community produced another successful Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections (WeDigBio) event last month. Begun in 2015, the annual four-day data creation campaign engages distributed participants online at sites such as Notes from Nature, Smithsonian Transcription Center, DigiVol, and Les herbonautes, as well as onsite visitors at the world’s museums, universities, botanic gardens, and other venues.  This year’s onsite venues hosted 29 events in England, Scotland, Canada, and the United States.  New additions to the hosting organizations included Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Royal Botanic Garden at Edinburgh, Howard University, Pittsburg State University, and University of British Columbia.  These joined a core of experienced hosting organizations, including the Field Museum, New York Botanical Garden, Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History, Botanical Research Institute of Texas, and many others.  Participants joining onsite events benefited from such excitement as research talks, games, swag, free museum entrance . . . the possibilities continue to expand each year with the community’s creativity.  For example, WeDigBio 2018 saw the first team competition—ten, 5-person teams participated in WeDigFLPlants’ Team Challenge 2018 using a real-time scoreboard from the BIOSPEX project.  And all of this combined to break records. WeDigBio 2018 hit a total number of 43,514 digitization activities across the online platforms feeding data to the WeDigBio dashboard, up by more than 3,000 from the previous record set in 2017; digitization rates peaked at 2,043 per hour, 269 more than the previous record set in 2017; and the Field Museum’s onsite events hit 650 registrants, far exceeding anything previously seen.  To catch up on the highlights of WeDigBio 2018, search Twitter for WeDigBio and visit the WeDigBio blog at  Interested in being part of the excitement in 2019, but not sure how to get started?  Send an email to the WeDigBio team at  WeDigBio is a global stage for your biodiversity collection and an exciting time to engage your local community.