Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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Xper3: a Collaborative Descriptive Data System with Web Services
Regine vignes-lebbe, Sylvain BOUQUIN

Building: Computer Science
Room: Computer Science 3
Date: 2016-12-09 10:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Last modified: 2016-10-16


Xper3 is a knowledge base management system dedicated to managing phenotypes. It includes two web services for identification: a single­access key construction web service, and an interactive multi-access key (Mkey+). Xper3 is also widely used for the formalization, storage and automated comparison of phenotypes. Xper3 is a pioneer in taxonomic management software, and the platform was immediately adopted by a large set of users, proving its originality and efficiency:  1652 users and 2023 databases in July 2016.

The collaborative editor is especially useful for taxonomic research networks. Scientist may share their data on phenotypes (structured descriptions, documented by images, videos, and text including bibliography and external links), compare phenotypes, and import or export partial or total content in various standard formats such as SDD (Structured Descriptive Data), CSV (Comma Separated Values), and NEXUS for external analyses.

We favor the use of modular and open technologies such as web services, while paying particular attention to the user interface, in order to allow biologists to use our tools with little or no learning time. The flexibility of the platform makes it possible 1) to customize the interface depending on the content (for instance, we are building a custom interface of the interactive key web service for the citizen science project on pollinators insects SPIPOLL (Suivi Photographique des Insectes Pollinisateurs), see http://www.spipoll.org/), 2) to add new web services or 3) to use the web services in another platform.

This architecture facilitates improvement and ongoing development, and we plan to connect phenotypes with acoustic and genomic data.

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