We just finished a two-day workshop at the Smithsonian on the Global Registry of Scientific Collections (GRSciColl) which is a sister-portal which sits on the same database as the Global Registry of Biodiversity Repositories (GRBio). One of the main messages coming out of these and other discussions is that small collections can gain a lot of visibility by registering through one of these portals. You can enter data and free-text descriptions that characterize the collections even though they haven't been fully digitized yet. The portal's search capabilities will give users access to information about what general holdings you have, your access and use policies, websites for the collection, and contact information for your staff. Spending 15 minutes entering your information could result in more visitors to your website, more loan requests, and more visitors to your facility. It's a way to ramp up activity while you digitize specimens.
It's worth noting that Pensoft Publishers is now using GRBio as the online index to validate information about repositories of specimens referred to in ZooKeys and their other journals. You can find an example by looking for the InstCode tab in the panel on the right side of this recent publication. Please note that many of the institution records in GRBio and GRSciColl are incomplete and we encourage members of the community to update their records and register the collections that reside in their institutions.
We hope that other small collections as well as larger institutions that have not yet digitized their collections will raise their profiles by registering in GRSciColl and GRBio.
David E. Schindel, Executive Secretary
Executive Secretary, Consortium for the Barcode of Life
Executive Board Chair, Scientific Collections International