Dealing with the challenges of presenting taxonomic data online: An introduction to PLANKTON*NET@AWI
Kraberg, A.C.; Buchholz, F.; Wiltshire, K.H. (2007). Dealing with the challenges of presenting taxonomic data online: An introduction to PLANKTON*NET@AWI, in: Vanden Berghe, E. et al. (Ed.) Proceedings Ocean Biodiversity Informatics: International Conference on Marine Biodiversity Data Management, Hamburg, Germany 29 November to 1 December, 2004. VLIZ Special Publication, 37: pp. 91-98
In: Vanden Berghe, E. et al. (Ed.) (2007). Proceedings Ocean Biodiversity Informatics: International Conference on Marine Biodiversity Data Management, Hamburg, Germany 29 November to 1 December, 2004. VLIZ Special Publication, 37. IOC Workshop Report, 202. VI, 192 pp., more
In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950
Phytoplankton taxonomy requires comparison of large volumes of information including images of taxa from different geographical areas. The internet should be ideally suited for this task. However, despite its advantages compared with traditional dissemination methods and the huge array of different online taxonomic resources, it lacks the evaluation and validation mechanisms of traditional resources, and ‘ground rules’ for the treatment of taxonomic data have not yet been established. PLANKTON*NET@AWI contains more than a thousand plankton images from the North Sea and different collections from all over the world. The database can be searched alphabetically or via collections. Each record can be viewed as a standardized data sheet with images and taxonomic descriptions. Comment functions are also provided but their administration has yet to be discussed. Images from different collections can be compared, facilitating the detection of taxonomic inconsistencies and geographic variations in morphology. PLANKTON*NET is a collaborative project with partners at Roscoff and in Woods Hole, but the individual sites are not yet networked. We are currently exploring mechanisms for future database formats and ways of networking existing resources to maximize the benefits for taxonomic research. Our favoured approach will be to follow the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) as an application-independent interoperability framework based on XML technology, so that the integrity of local taxonomic initiatives can be maintained, while sharing content but this will also require discussion within the wider scientific community.