Workflow Modules and Task Lists

One outgrowth of the DROID (Developing Robust Object-to-Image-to-Data) workflow workshop held in May 2012 was the establishment of a series of working groups, each focused on workflow modules and tasks for various preparation types. The first of these groups, informally called the Flat Sheets and Packets Working Group, was charged with fleshing out task lists for digitizing vascular and non-vascular plant collections. A reconstitution of this working group, convened in January 2015, added 8 modules to this set of workflows and updated the existing ones.The second working group, Pinned Specimens in Trays and Drawers, invested its time developing modules to support effective entomological digitization workflows. Things in Spirits in Jars devoted time to workflows for fluid-preserved collections. The 3D Objects in Trays and boxes completed its work in spring 2015 and focused mostly on paleontological specimens. 

We have chosen a modular approach for presenting our results in order to accommodate the broad range of workflow implementations within the collections community. We recognize that there is no consensus workflow that fits all situations, even within a single preservation type. In light of this, we have attempted to assemble orderly, comprehensive task lists to serve as foundations from which institutionally specific workflows can be created. Not all institutions will use every task, but we hope that the lists we have developed encompass all relevant digitization tasks. We also hope that those in the collections digitization community will provide feedback on these lists, either through forum posts or e-mails to Gil Nelson, alerting us to deficiencies and oversights.

Links to published modules as they are completed are provided below:

Flat Sheets and Packets Working Group - Vascular and Non-vascular Plants

This workflow was developed at an iDigBio workshop in January 2015. The most recent version is available at

Further information about these workflows was published in Applications in Plant Sciences 3(9): 1500065. doi:10.3732/apps.1500065 and is available at

Pinned Things in Trays and Drawers Working Group - Dried Insects


Things in Spirits in Jars

Three-dimensional Objects in Trays and Boxes