Biodiversity information platforms: From standards to interoperability

TitleBiodiversity information platforms: From standards to interoperability
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBerendsohn, Walter, Anton Güntsch, Niels Hoffmann, Andreas Kohlbecker, Katja Luther, and Andreas Müller
Journal{ZooKeys}
Volume150
Pagination71–87
Date Publishednov
Abstract

One of the most serious bottlenecks in the scientific workflows of biodiversity sciences is the need to integrate data from different sources, software applications, and services for analysis, visualisation and publication. For more than a quarter of a century the {TDWG} Biodiversity Information Standards organisation has a central role in defining and promoting data standards and protocols supporting interoperability between disparate and locally distributed systems. Although often not sufficiently recognized, {TDWG} standards are the foundation of many popular Biodiversity Informatics applications and infrastructures ranging from small desktop software solutions to large scale international data networks. However, individual scientists and groups of collaborating scientist have difficulties in fully exploiting the potential of standards that are often notoriously complex, lack non-technical documentations, and use different representations and underlying technologies. In the last few years, a series of initiatives such as Scratchpads, the {EDIT} Platform for Cybertaxonomy, and biowikifarm have started to implement and set up virtual work platforms for biodiversity sciences which shield their users from the complexity of the underlying standards. Apart from being practical work-horses for numerous working processes related to biodiversity sciences, they can be seen as information brokers mediating information between multiple data standards and protocols. The {ViBRANT} project will further strengthen the flexibility and power of virtual biodiversity working platforms by building software interfaces between them, thus facilitating essential information flows needed for comprehensive data exchange, data indexing, web-publication, and versioning. This work will make an important contribution to the shaping of an international, interoperable, and user-oriented biodiversity information infrastructure.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.150.2166
DOI10.3897/zookeys.150.2166