Design explorations for Collections Catalogue services
Tim Robertson, GBIF Head of Informatics
This document is particularly relevant to discussions under the following topics:
- 1.2. Locating specimens and genetic materials (USE)
- 1.5. Increased value for data on specimens, taxonomic publications, etc. (USE)
- 1.7. Foundation for new and enriched services (USE)
- 1.8. Improvements to citation and visibility for collections (USE)
- 2.5. Wider data linkages (INFORMATION)
- 2.6. Information services relating to collections (INFORMATION)
- 3.3. Integrated catalogue (TECHNOLOGY)
- 3.5. Interfaces, APIs and client modules (TECHNOLOGY)
- 4.3. Technical infrastructures (GOVERNANCE)
As explained in the presentation on the Global Registry of Scientific Collections (GRSciColl), GBIF has migrated this resource to become part of the GBIF infrastructure. It now possible to explore the future evolution of the GBIF/GRSciColl Collection Catalogue and to plan the set of services that it should provide.
To prepare for this evolution, we have sketched a design to show what we believe could be developed to build upon the feeds of information that GBIF already offers.
Please click on the snapshot above and browse the design. The snapshot links to an image with embedded links that you can use to explore the presentation presented. Please click around to see what links are available from each view.
Here are some important aspects to understand about the design shown in this sketch.
- GBIF would ensure that any implemented version of this catalogue has full multi-lingual support and a friendly API that enables developers to reuse the information and build new applications.
- The catalogue would integrate authoritative information and data feeds linking Institutions, Collections, People, Literature and Specimens.
This example illustrates a possible Collection search, based on a search index that combines collection metadata with available digitised specimen information.
- The Collection detail view shows that Collection Description standard information would be available in addition to any other (non-standard) documentation such as a spreadsheet containing an inventory of holdings.
- The Collection can be linked to People associated with the collection and a dashboard showing researcher interactions with the collection data.
- A range of Citations can be presented, including those from literature, taxonomic treatments and data use.
- Information on Funders is important to meet instiutional obligations and to showcase the scientific significance of the collection.
- Many collections (~3000 from 90+ countries) already publish ~200M digital specimen records through GBIF.org using open standards. This catalogue proposes to integrate specimen search, mapping capabilities, image galleries and download tools as services tied to the Collection view. This will lower the technical threshold for any collection to showcase its holdings and should make many more collections explorable online.
- The Specimen detail view illustrates an intention to move beyond simply representing “occurrence records”, as portals like GBIF.org typically do today. This example shows how data linkages and data-clustering algorithms can help to identify and bring together closely related specimens (e.g. duplicates distributed across several herbaria), links to DNA sequence data (which may be published through a different database), images, measurements, citations and other information.
Use this topic to ask questions, share ideas or discuss features related to this design. If there is enough interest, we will hold a Zoom session to explore it in more detail.