The xBio:D database at Ohio State has hosted data originating from a 
large number of other collections for many years now. This began with 
our taxonomic work: simply stated, almost none of the collections from 
which the specimens came had a data portal. So we've had to do it 
ourselves, all the while citing the institution that actually holds the 
material in question. As an extension, we now also serve as the physical 
repository for other institutions, a logical extension of the same 
issue. With the appropriate IPT the role of OSU is (or should be) 
entirely transparent to a user going through something like GBIF or 
iDigBio.  This seems to me to be an old issue that has been solved many 

On the suggested issue of centralization, it seems to me that 
organizations such as SysEB are not a good choice. It lacks stability in 
personnel, funds to maintain such an operation, and the physical 
infrastructure to take on the long-term commitment needed.

Norm Johnson

On 9/13/2016 9:02 AM, Dikow, Torsten wrote:
> Hi Nico,
> I am publishing material examined lists from taxonomic revisions, with 
> specimens originating from several natural history collections some of 
> which upload their data GBIF and some don’t, through an IPT instance 
> installed at my institution. As you will see 
> (, this GBIF IPT has several 
> data-sets and among them the huge occurrence data-set from the entire 
> NMNH collections.
> I try as much as possible to utilize the original institutional unique 
> specimen identifier by asking the curators to send these labels to me 
> before attaching my “personal research identifier” as every single 
> specimen needs to fulfill the Darwin Core Triplet during GBIF 
> validation (institutionCode, collectionCode, unique identifier).
> Twelve years back, Rudolf Meier and myself lobbied for a specimen 
> depository from taxonomic revisions similar to GenBank 
> ( I would say that 
> utilizing a GBIF IPT instance at an institutional level fulfills this 
> role and provides data to GBIF, which was originally conceived for 
> natural history collection data only.
> Miller et al. 2012 ( promote 
> that publishers might be a better way to provide published specimen 
> occurrence data to GBIF than individual researchers as most 
> taxonomists likely do not want to deal with an extra step of uploading 
> the specimen data through a GBIF IPT. Obviously, journals published by 
> Pensoft do exactly this service (and many others) for the taxonomists.
> I will touch on this (and other topics) during my talk at the upcoming 
> ECN meeting.
> Cheers, Torsten
>> Thank you, all.
>>    Sorry I dropped the ball there for a few days. I received several 
>> interesting off-line answers in addition.
>>    I think I should also try to clarify. First off, for the (some) 
>> botanists - in entomology there is much less of a tradition of 
>> "creating duplicates" (of purportedly the same individual..thinking 
>> about branches of an oak tree here). Insect specimens overwhelmingly 
>> remain and travel "entire" (even following dissection). I hope that 
>> distinction is fair enough to most.
>>    Here is the conflict, as simple as I can state it. There is an 
>> institution that the specimens ultimately belong to, and that loans 
>> them out to a researcher. Then there is a researcher, not affiliated 
>> with the institution, who right now has resources and arguably needs 
>> to "publish" the specimens via iDigBio, GBIF, etc. (as well as other 
>> outlets such as a research journal).
>>    Let's assume that the owning institution just really does not have 
>> the resources right now. Not even to put a locally unique specimen 
>> identifier on it (or, it does that, but there is no digital 
>> counterpart). And the researcher does. Beyond writing a kind, 
>> explanatory e-mail, and figuring things out (idiosyncratically), is 
>> there some more widespread accepted practice for resolving this 
>> conflict? Answering "I use this or that portal that I happen to have 
>> access to and which does it for me", is not really a generally 
>> applicable answer, right?
>>    If not, should we as a community (in our most hopeful moments, 
>> anyway) consider creating one or more that are very open for 
>> contributions? Something like an open portal for digitizing and 
>> iDigBio-/GBIF-publishing research-relevant specimens of/for owner 
>> institutions that "just can't right now, sorry".
>> Cheers,
>> Nico
> . . . . .
> Torsten Dikow, Ph.D.
> Research Entomologist for Diptera
> w 202.633.1005 [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> . . . <>
> . . . @TDikow <> #asiloidflies 
> <> #USNMDiptera 
> <>
> . . . SI Entomology staff page 
> <>
> . . . access to research data at ORCiD 

Ohio State University
Norman F. Johnson, Professor
Moser Chair in Arthropod Biosystematics & Biological Diversity
Professor & Associate Chair, Department of Evolution, Ecology & 
Organismal Biology
Professor, Department of Entomology Director, C.A. Triplehorn Insect 
College of Arts & Sciences Department of Evolution, Ecology & Organismal 
1220 Museum of Biological Diversity, 1315 Kinnear Road, Columbus, OH 43212
614-292-6595 Office / 614-292-7774 Fax
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