2.6. Information services relating to collections (INFORMATION)

This is topic 2.6. in the Information section of the Advancing the Catalogue of the World’s Natural History Collections consultation. Use this topic to discuss the questions listed below.

The main value from the collection catalogue may appear in the information services that can be offered around the information managed. Considering these services may help to clarify the content requirements.

Other materials

The following contributed materials are particularly relevant to this topic:


  • What do we want to do with the catalogue, beyond having clean and comprehensive linked open data about each collection?
  • The following potential services are likely to be candidates, but others are possible. In each case, would the service depend on a partnership with other digital repositories (e.g. BHL, GBIF, CoL)?
    • Assess the growth, scale and value of the world’s collections
    • Provide collection digitisation dashboard to monitor and highlight progress
    • Discover the location of biological materials or the likely presence of biological materials for any taxon
    • Develop discovery services for accessing information on type specimens or communicating with the relevant collection where the specimen is not digitised
    • Identify sections of collections that should be digitised to answer specific questions
    • Match gap analysis of published specimen data against the collection catalogue to prioritise digitisation for filling taxonomic, geographic, or other gaps
    • Discover holdings that make a particular collection unique, and therefore of even higher value
    • Develop and fund collaborative digitisation programmes focused on understanding of the holdings of the network as a whole
    • Develop cross-institutional loan systems and taxonomic workbenches
    • Develop citation models for collections and track their impact
    • Perform risk assessment of the health or stability of a collection

I would pursue all of these even if some other entity takes over one or more roles, the catalog can reduce inertia and bring people together.

From @maperalta in the Spanish thread

All potential services mentioned are objectives we should seek.