Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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The EDIT Platform for Cybertaxonomy
Andreas Müller, Andreas Kohlbecker, Katja Luther, Cherian Mathew, Alexander Oppermann, Patrick Plitzner

Building: Elmia Congress Centre, Jönköping
Room: Rum 10
Date: 2014-10-30 02:45 PM – 02:50 PM
Last modified: 2014-10-03


Although biodiversity research and taxonomy in specific is currently in vogue there are few generally applicable tools that support the taxonomic work process as a whole. The EDIT Platform for Cybertaxonomy [1] tries to bridge this gap. Based on the Common Data Model (CDM) it allows handling a broad set of data types in required scientific quality. This is achieved not only by mapping taxonomic relationships accurately but also by offering functionality for data provenance documentation which becomes more and more a must-have in modern science.

Via the CDM Taxonomic Editor one may edit all types of data (taxa, classifications, specimens, references, agents, keys, features, media, descriptions, to name a few) and their complex relationships. The term module allows flexible extension of existing or new vocabularies while the CDM Data Portal allows highly configurable output on the web. These features make the platform usable in many different environments and for many different use cases.

Furthermore, data stored in a CDM Data Store can easily be integrated in scientific workflows such as the BioVel (www.biovel.eu) workflows by using the well documented web services published through the CDM Server. This way it allows easy integration of taxonomic research results into large scale biodiversity research.

In the workshop we will provide a brief overview of the general functionality of the respective tools (Taxonomic Editor, CDM Server, CDM Data Portal). We will demonstrate how the Taxonomic Editor supports the taxonomists in their everyday tasks such as splitting taxa or changing their status, associating specimen and taxa, adding factual data, adding data provenance information, creating identification keys, etc.

Furthermore we will emphasize on the generic character of the platform. E.g. we will show how to create user defined vocabularies or how to adjust the CDM Data Portals to the specific user requirements by demonstrating its configurability via the portal administration tools.

Finally we will present some advanced features from real use cases such as the multi classification and concept related features which allow factual data aggregation from multiple sources and ambiguous classifications in the German Red List 2020 project. Another example will be the seamless documentation of research work on specimen derivates from collecting, over accessioning, tissue extraction to the point of DNA analysis and registration.

Last but not least we will give an outlook on upcoming tools and functionality such as the CDM Validation Framework and the CDM WebEditor, which will allow intensive data quality testing, based on taxonomic rules and user experience (Validation Framework) and will give easy access to basic editing functionality to less experienced users (Web Editor).

[1] All components of the EDIT Platform (including the CDM Library, Taxonomic Editor, CDM Server, Dataportal, etc) are open-source projects available under the Mozilla Public License Version 1.1. Details concerning the various components of the platform for users as well as developers can be accessed via the Cybertaxonomy portal at http://cybertaxonomy.eu/.