Connecting the world of biodiversity data

Conference: TDWG 2021
Location: Virtual
Date and Time: Oct 18, 2021
Description: Standards uniting people, processes, and tools

As we continue to connect people and biodiversity data globally by virtual means in these globally uncertain times, TDWG 2021 will be composed of symposia, workshops, contributed oral and poster presentations, demos, and discussions, as well as keynotes and social events. The Interest/Task Group working sessions will be held separately during the month following the virtual conference (November 2021). TDWG Symposia and TDWG Schedule

Oct 20, 8:30PM CET SYM18 Discovering known biodiversity: Digital accessible knowledge

Session Type: Symposium (no unsolicited presentations considered)

Organizers: Donat Agosti, Plazi, Bern, Switzerland; Alexandros Ioannidis-Pantopikos, Zenodo — CERN, Meyrin, Switzerland

Scientific publishing is building up our knowledge by connecting facts using an intricate network of implicit and explicit citations. Taxonomic publications are exceptionally rich beginning with the explicit citation of publications, to implicit citations provided by taxonomic names, treatment citations, materials, actors, collections to a domain-specific vocabulary. In a sense, we are still living in an analog world because most of our knowledge is not digital or, if digital, is designed for human consumption at best and not as digital accessible knowledge (DAK). DAK are facts that are both human and machine readable and are open, findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable, proven as such by their reuse by external services such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). A second aspect of DAK is that its citations are annotated with respective identifiers. This allows easy integration and connection with existing DAK.

Discovering known biodiversity is a challenge taken on by Plazi. This requires defined target resolution of data, sustainable infrastructures, workflows, reference vocabularies, resources, and strategies to discover and convert a rapidly growing corpus of a daunting circa 500 million publications. Current technical and persistent identifier developments will be highlighted.


  1. Agosti D 2021. (Re)Discovering Known Biodiversity: Introduction. Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 5: e75491. doi: 10.3897/biss.5.75491
  2. Guidoti M, Sokolowicz C, Simoes F, Gonçalves V, Ruschel T, Alvares DJ, Agosti D 2021. TreatmentBank: Plazi’s strategies and its implementation to most efficiently liberate data from scholarly publications. Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 5: e75690. doi: 10.3897/biss.5.75690
  3. Miller JA, Agosti D, Guidoti M, Rivera Quiroz FA (2021) Linking and the Role of the Material Citation. Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 5: e75543.
  4. Simoes F, Agosti D, Guidoti M 2021. Delivering Fit-for-Use Data: Quality control. Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 5: e75432. doi: 10.3897/biss.5.75432
  5. Ioannidis-Pantopikos A, Agosti D 2021. Biodiversity Literature Repository: Building the customized FAIR repository by using custom metadata. Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 5: e75147. doi: 10.3897/biss.5.75147
  6. Gmür R, Agosti D 2021. Synospecies, an application to reflect changes in taxonomic names based on a triple store based on taxonomic data liberated from publication. Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 5: e75641. doi: 10.3897/biss.5.75641
  7. Sokolowicz C, Guidoti M, Agosti D 2021. Discovering Known Biodiversity: Digital accessible knowledge — Getting the community involved. Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 5: e74369. doi: 10.3897/biss.5.74369


  1. Meeus S, Addink W, Agosti D, Arvanitidis C, Dimitrova M, González-Aranda JM, Holetschek J, Islam S, Jeppesen TS, Mietchen D, Robertson T, Sanchez Cano FM, Trekels M, Groom Q (2021) Hacking Infrastructures Together: Towards better interoperability of infrastructures. Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 5: e74325. doi: 10.3897/biss.5.74325
  2. Penev L, Koureas D, Groom Q, Lanfear J, Agosti D, Casino A, Miller J, Arvanitidis C, Cochrane G, Barov B, Hobern D, Banki O, Addink W, Köljalg U, Ruch P, Copas K, Mergen P, Güntsch A, Benichou L, Gonzalez Lopez JB 2021. Towards Interlinked FAIR Biodiversity Knowledge: The BiCIKL perspective. Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 5: e74233. doi: 10.3897/biss.5.74233

Oct 21, 11PM CET SYM11 Building collaborative resiliency through the Biodiversity Heritage Library


  1. Alvares DJ, Guidoti M, Simoes F, Sokolowicz C, Agosti D 2021. The BHL-Plazi Partnership: Getting data from the 1800s directly into 21st century, reused digital accessible knowledge. Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 5: e75604. doi: 10.3897/biss.5.75604