Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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A curation interface for reconciliation of species names for India.
Thomas Vattakaven, R. Prabhakar

Building: Elmia Congress Centre, Jönköping
Room: Rum 10
Date: 2014-10-27 11:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Last modified: 2014-10-03


The biological diversity of a country is the key that offers it the ability to  provide ecological goods and services that balance human development as it alters the natural environment. It is essential to list out the species that make up the biodiversity of a country in order to coordinate local and international efforts on conservation and sustainable development. In India currently there are no lists forthcoming that registers the species occurring in the country.

The India Biodiversity Portal (http://indiabiodiversity.org) is an initiative based in civil society that strives to aggregate biodiversity information for the country and make it freely accessible to all. It is attempting to create a species name list for India by aggregating species names from databases across the world that find distribution in India. However, the dynamic nature of taxonomic classification, poses inherent challenges that require implementation of innovative solutions to address. One such issue is to track and reconcile multiple synonyms and lexical variants to an accepted species name.

The initial exercise of acquiring thousands of species names from diverse sources with no uniform classification structure or nomenclatural metadata has resulted in a system that needs reorganization. IBP is currently striving to establish an interface that will help re-organize thousands of names with a set of attributes such as the authority, rank, name status and fitting to a hierarchy with a set of standard taxon levels. We will present a demo of an interface which will allow for a two-step process that will crowd-source the population of name attributes and present it for further curator validation and organization. The interface will allow the common citizen to be involved in a taxonomic exercise and facilitate collection of valuable information from the crowd such as the local language names for each species.

It is expected that the namelist curation interface will allow for the creation of an organized yet dynamic namelist that will be a registry of the species occurring in India. The namelist will also form the reference backbone of the portal and will feed all modules of the portal utilising taxonomic information such as species pages and observations.