Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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Notes from Nature 2.0: Standardization for citizen science at scale
Rob Penn Guralnick

Building: Computer Science
Room: Computer Science 3
Date: 2016-12-06 12:00 PM – 12:15 PM
Last modified: 2016-10-15


Notes from Nature (http://www.notesfromnature.org; NFN) is a citizen science tool focused on public engagement and label transcription of natural history specimens. The project was developed collaboratively by biodiversity scientists, curators, informatics experts and experts in citizen science, within the well-established Zooniverse platform.  Notes from Nature launched in April 2013 and has been successful by any measure, with over 9190 registered participants providing 1,340,000 transcriptions.  While successful, NFN has been difficult to scale up for broadest community use, both for natural history collections providers and citizen scientists. This talk introduces the newly re-launched Notes from Nature, which leverages new tools produced by both the natural history collections community and the Zooniverse to revolutionize how to bring new collections online.  The key innovation are two tools, Biospex and the Zooniverse Project Builder, that together dramatically simplify and automate creation of new expeditions. The new Notes from Nature also has streamlined and enhanced transcription tools, provider dashboards, and soon to be upgraded user profile pages.  These tools work via standardization, and we are further developing means to standardize outputs.  In particular, work is ongoing to build services to return "best transcripts" along with data quality assessments to our providers. We also discuss engagement efforts and overall standardization and interoperability with other biodiversity informatics tools. Such improvements help cement Notes from Nature's place as a critical component of an ecosystem of tools needed to unlock the vast legacy biodiversity data for broad public good.