03.03.2021 17:22

March 4. 10:15am CET

Plazi will provide the lecture A change in paradigm: From publications to publishing building blocks of digital accessible biodiversity knowledge at the 22nd Meeting of the GfBS together with the Muséum nationale d'Histoire naturelle and Pensoft.


So far, our knowledge about biodiversity is in an estimated 500M annually increasing number of pages starting with Linnaeus’ works in 1753 and 1758 respectively. For each species, at least one taxonomic treatment, a clearly dedicated section of a publication, exists. From Linnaeus inset, treatments have further been structured into citations of previous treatments, description, behavioral notes and distributions to name a few, and are based on collections of specimens. These treatment citations, also including statements like synonymies, include the entire catalogue of life, based on a citation network similar to bibliographic citations used in publications. This situation is the best possible prerequisite for leveraging the Internet, even more its aspect of the semantic web, whereby a treatment cites specimens, gene sequences can also be linked back to the citing treatment, the knowledge graph. At the same time, research results about a specimen, a gene sequence are immediately accessible, facilitating many novel opportunities, speeding up taxonomists' work and providing a never seen access to biodiversity data for life sciences, conservationists and beyond. It complements ongoing research on sequencing all species of life (e.g. BioScan), or citizen science initiatives (e.g. iNaturalist). It provides existing knowledge about the identified sequenced or photographed species, a platform to add data about unknown species and include it into the corpus of digital accessible knowledge. Such a system also allows new entries to this knowledge, for example from each specimen, a published figure, a taxonomic or a person's name. This lecture will present two approaches. The first focuses on how to make known biodiversity accessible through the Biodiversity Literature Repository (BLR) and TreatmentBank. The second is based on Pensoft’s, the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF) publishing group’s and the European Journal of Taxonomy (EJT) publishing styles, making new data immediately digital accessible knowledge. This includes making treatments, figures, materials citations findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) and therefore making them accessible and reusable in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBF). The ultimate goal of this change in paradigm is to make not only all known data about biodiversity digital immediately accessible knowledge but make use of the authors’ already existing structured data in his research environment.