Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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Annotating Scientific Collection data using AnnoSys – A Generic Online Annotation System and Repository
Okka Tschöpe, Lutz Suhrbier, Anton Güntsch, Walter G. Berendsohn

Last modified: 2016-09-09


AnnoSys is a web-based system for correcting and enriching biodiversity data in publicly available data portals. The current release of AnnoSys (https://annosys.bgbm.org) establishes a number of workflows that enable online annotations using the example of biological collection data. The AnnoSys procedure of annotating records via the Internet is analogous to the traditional, written specimen annotations (e.g. a new taxonomic identification) found in natural history collections. However, its search and subscription capabilities make it possible to access or receive notification of annotations of records and even records of duplicate specimens accessed in different portals. Additionally, the web interface enables curators to communicate decisions with regard to the acceptance or rejection of annotations referring to data objects in their collections.

Based on a generic annotation context model, which is implemented using the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Open Annotation Data Model, the AnnoSys repository archives annotations and the related original collection data. The resulting annotation records are publicly retrievable and integrable with other systems through Linked Data mechanisms, e.g., Representational State Transfer (REST)- and SPARQL-based web services. Beyond that, a customised subscription-based message system permits registered AnnoSys users (curators and researchers) to be informed by email about annotation-related events.

Currently, AnnoSys is integrated into 13 biodiversity data portals providing collection data in the botanical, bacterial and zoological domains, including GBIF. In the current (second) project phase, AnnoSys aims at stimulating further demands for integrating its functionality from additional data portals, at the same time fostering the support of additional data standards as well as new use cases and applications.

AnnoSys-2 is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The project title is “Internationalisation and realisation of the comprehensive online annotation system AnnoSys – application potential in terms of disciplines and standards” (BE 2283/4-2).