Debbie Paul edited this page Apr 21, 2018 · 11 revisions

Reactivating the Natural Collections Descriptions (NCD) Interest Group

TDWG is in the process of reactivating the NCD Interest Group, which went quiet after the existing draft (v 0.90) was completed in 2008. Potential stakeholders (see below) have determined that sufficient interest exists to update the existing draft and ratify it as a full TDWG standard. Alex Thompson and Deb Paul (iDigBio) initially volunteered to be Interest Group (IG) Co-Conveners, and lead IG meetings at both the 2016 and 2017 TDWG annual conferences. Draft charters for both the reconvened IG and a Task Group are available for comment. If you have an interest in natural collections descriptions, please email the TDWG secretariat. Please note, Alex will be stepping down as a Co-Convener, so Deb is looking for someone else to compliment her expertise and help lead the IG. Perhaps one or two more people, someone from outside the USA, and someone with good knowledge of standards outside the biodiversity community.

Issues Under Discussion

Functional Requirements for NCD (the revised standard could/should support these functions):
  • Resource discovery -- taxonomic and geographic coverage; collecting/collector history (expeditions?); ancillary collections and data sets, such as tissues, field notes, measurements, inventories.
  • Provide guidelines for referencing (how to cite or refer to) collections and specimens in both human readable and machine actionable forms [support linked data; also related to Services Interest Group]
  • Integrate registration of data providers with collection-level descriptions, including material that is not yet digital
  • Estimating the scope of digitization work to be done; conversely, summarize what has been digitized
  • Data quality assessment [this is also related to linked data]
Challenges:
  • creating the data, i.e., getting collection staff to invest in creating higher level descriptions; mitigated by:
    • applications that facilitate data capture and publishing
    • portal that shows how data will appear and can be used
  • identifiers (updating TDWG GUID Applicability Statement)
  • overlap with other standards (e.g., Audubon Core)
Stakeholders:
  • Collection/Dataset managers/owners (SPNHC)
  • Biodiversity information aggregators (GBIF, iDigBio, GRBio, GenBank, GGBN, ALA, etc.)
  • Archivists (e.g., Connecting Content project, which endeavored to connect field notes, specimens, and images)
  • Publishers and biodiversity literature markup specialists (e.g., Pensoft, PLAZI)
  • Collection management software developers (Specify, Symbiota, EMu)
  • Dataset archives (DataONE)
  • Informatics specialists, information architects (TDWG)
  • Museum Directors and Administrators
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