Computing and database management has shifted from cottage industry-style methods — the small independent researcher keeping records for a particular project — to state-of-the-art file storage systems, presentation, and distribution over the Internet. New and emerging techniques for recognition, compilation, and data management have made managing data a discipline in its own right. Covering all aspects of this data management, Biodiversity Databases: Techniques, Politics, and Applications brings together input from social scientists, programmers, database designers, and information specialists to delineate the political setting and give institutions platforms for the dissemination of taxonomic information.
A practical and logical guide to complex issues, the book explores the changes and challenges of the information age. It discusses projects developed to provide better access to all available biodiversity information. The chapters make the case for the need for representation of concepts in taxonomic databases. They explore issues involved in connecting databases with different user interfaces, the technical demands of linking databases that are not entirely uniform in structure, and the problems of user access and the control of data quality. The book highlights different approaches to addressing concerns associated with the taxonomic impediment and the low reproducibility of taxonomic data. It provides an in-depth examination of the challenge of making taxonomic information more widely available to users in the wider scientific community, in government, and the general population.
About the Author
Gordon B. Curry, Chris J. Humphries
Table of Contents
The Editors ix
Chapter 1 The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Meredith A. Lane James L. Edwards 1
Chapter 2 The European Network for Biodiversity Information Wouter Los Cees H.J. Hof 5
Chapter 3 Networking Taxonomic Concepts - Uniting without 'Unitary-ism' Walter G. Berendsohn Marc Geoffroy 13
Chapter 4 Networking Biological Collections Databases: Building a European Infrastructure Malcolm J. Scoble Walter G. Berendsohn 23
Chapter 5 A Comparison between Morphometric and Artificial Neural Network Approaches to the Automated Species Recognition Problem in Systematics Norman MacLeod M. O'Neill Steven A. Walsh 37
Chapter 6 Automated Extraction of Biodiversity Data from Taxonomic Descriptions Gordon B. Curry Richard J. Connor 63
Chapter 7 The Grid and Biodiversity Informatics Andrew C. Jones 83
Chapter 8 LIAS - An Interactive Database System for Structured Descriptive Data of Ascomycetes Dagmar Triebel Derek Peršoh Thomas H. Nash III Luciana Zedda Gerhard Rambold 99
Chapter 9 Linking Biodiversity Databases: Preparing Species Diversity Information Sources by Assembling, Merging and Linking Databases Richard J. White 111
Chapter 10 Priority Areas for Rattan Conservation on Borneo Jacob Andersen Sterling Ole Seberg Chris J. Humphries F. Borchsenius J. Dransfield 129
Systematics Association Publications 189
What People are Saying About This
I recommend Biodiversity Databases' to anyone who is looking for a good entry point into the field of biodiversity informatics, with the qualification that the reality of data integration might be more "lively" than some chapters let on.
—The Systematist, 2010
“… addresses many of the new features of the types of databases now in service and make cases for even more improvements. They focus on best practices and applications as they describe concepts and installations…”
—SciTech Book News
"This book is indispensable for those who would build or use an electronic repository of taxonomic information previously contained only in such analog formats as herbaria or specimen labels, mapping projects, tissue culture collections, etc. This work will also be of value to natural history researchers wishing to contribute to the global effort to document species diversity by gathering the primary data that goes into or is used by the various biodiversity databases . . . Summing Up: Recommended."
– K. A. Newman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in Choice: Current Review for Academic Libraries, November 2007, Vol. 45, No. 3