This is all excellent to hear. A GenBank for specimen data is an idea that
needs to be kept alive!

Just to clarify my suggestion regarding SysEB - no physical infrastructure
would be needed. Datasets can be uploaded directly from an author's
computer into GBIF's servers (as presumably happens with the Canadensys
solution). All that should be needed is someone to mediate/help the process
(and encourage authors to share their data!)

Very timely information for a paper I'm writing. Thanks Nico & everyone!


On Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 5:23 AM, Norman F. Johnson <[log in to unmask]>

> 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 times.
> 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 (
> edu/ipt/), 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]
> . . .
> . . . @TDikow <> #asiloidflies
> <> #USNMDiptera
> <>
> . . . SI Entomology staff page
> <>
> . . . access to research data at ORCiD
> 0000-0003-4816-2909
> --
> [image: 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
> Collection
> College of Arts & Sciences Department of Evolution, Ecology & Organismal
> Biology
> 1220 Museum of Biological Diversity, 1315 Kinnear Road, Columbus, OH 43212
> 614-292-6595 Office / 614-292-7774 Fax
> [log in to unmask]


Derek S. Sikes, Curator of Insects
Associate Professor of Entomology
University of Alaska Museum
907 Yukon Drive
Fairbanks, AK   99775-6960

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