Man. Comm. 2

Venue: skype conference call

Start: 10:00 BST

Duration: 2 hours

Meeting 2 : Agenda [Updated 18 April 11]

  1. Apologies for absence
    Gemma Maldar, Olaf Banki
  2. Workpackage summaries [WP leaders]:
    1. Progress highlights;
    2. Interdependencies with other WPs;
    3. Deviations from budget;
    4. Deviations from the Workplan
  3. Reporting
  4. milestone modifications
  5. Outreach & publicity
  6. Events calendar & training
  7. Any other business



Vince Smith, Project Coordinator Dave Roberts, WP 1 Leader
Simon Rycroft , WP2 Leader Thierry Backeljau, WP3 Leader
Neil Caithness, WP5 Leader Lyubomir Penev, WP6 Leader
David Morse, WP7 Leader Christos Arvanitidis, WP8 Leader
Lucy Reeve (Admin)  



    Olaf Bánki, WP4 Leader

    Gemma Maldar, Finance manager

Workpackage Summaries

WP1 – Dave Roberts, NHM

The website is functioning and external partners are being added on request.

There are no deviations from budget or workplan.

WP2 – Simon Rycroft, NHM

Work is underway with the upgrade from Scratchpad 1 to Scratchpad 2. Timeline can be found on We have switched from Subversion to Git ( The Scratchpad signup form is now fully automated.

There are no deviations from budget or workplan.

WP 3 – Thierry Backeljau, RBINS

Isa Van de Velde and Daphne Duin have now both started work on ViBRANT Irina Brake is working 2 days per week to ensure a smooth transition of the Scratchpad support service.

A planning meeting was held at the end of March with WP1. Possible interactions between ViBRANT and Erina+ were discussed at the meeting but we still await final information from Irina+ to decide on the nature of engagement.

A priority for WP3 is to identify Ambassadors of ViBRANT, to provide training and support to local communities, and act as an anchor for ViBRANT. It was agreed to hold back on training events this year due to the Scratchpad upgrade, but towards the end of the year will need to identify events for 2012 so can report to the Commission.

Sociological studies – there are 2 issues – common practices in taxonomic research and getting a better idea of use of Scratchpads and ViBRANT tools.

Outreach – flyers are being designed and website pages are to be updated with services.

Action: WP leaders are to provide a short paragraph on their WP for the flyers. Contributions should go to Isa.

Daphne Duin and Peter van den Besselaar have submitted abstracts and poster presentation on analysis of Scratchpad data.

There is currently no deviation from the workplan or budget.

WP4 – no representation

A written report was received and circulated prior to the meeting.
A WP4 meeting was held in Berlin in February. A very helpful follow up note has been received from Walter Berendsohn that clarifies the work of BGBM with ViBRANT. VS and DR will respond to this after Easter.

WP4 is under control, on track and not deviating from budget currently.

WP5 Neil Caithness, UOXF.

Automated server is in place and WP5 is now ahead of schedule, beyond API and designing architecture. A more general infrastructure is in place. A test website will be set up to allow development of services independent of other infrastructures. This is a strength as creating independent services is part of ViBRANT remit. Bioclimatic and biodiversity records are being used as a springboard for other services.

Scoping requirement for phylogenetic studies. Some are done. Priority has been shifted to biodiversity/ecological services after the Paris meeting.
At this stage there are no interdependencies with other WPs, but will soon need to link with Scratchpads (WP2) and data mobilisation (WP8).

Action: NC to liaise with SR when ready

Javier (WP8) is very keen to talk re service aspects in context of mapping.

Action: Meeting to be set up between NC and Javier de la Torres.

There is a possible link to a service in Maryland, but nothing has been formalised

Action: If possible, VS will speak with Chris Cunningham at Evolution meeting in June (Norman, Oklahoma)

WP5 has lots of milestones which can be revised in light of changes of emphasis, as long as the deliverables are not affected.

The automation service could be used in WP7 in batch processing large documents.

Action: NC and DM to discuss

ViBRANT sent a letter of support for BIOVEL (Cardiff) which is now in the negotiation phase. CA has met Alex Hardisty from the BIOVEL project recently.
WP5 is currently slightly ahead of schedule with no deviations from workplan or budget.

WP6, Lyubomir Penev, PENSOFT.

A written report was circulated before the meeting.

All running smoothly currently. No deviations from workplan.
DR and LP have been working on GBIF's data publication working group which will appear as a special issue of BMC later this year. Data publishing is a hot topic at the moment. WP6 has picked up and moving ahead with this.
Link with WP4. LP is pushing species descriptions from Pensoft journals to Gregor Hagedorn's (GH) mediawiki environmentSpecies ID,. This is a positive development and is being further explored in CDM and Scratchpad environments.
The only concern with WP6 is how fast it is running in comparison with other WPs.

LP expressed concern that won’t get enough users, judging from the lack of reaction to the data journal announcement on Taxacom. Once there is a higher volume of data we believe that there will be more excitement generated. It is early days at the moment so keep pursuing. After Easter Pensoft will open data publishing in biodiversity

Action: LP to post docs for comment

Action: VS to include details of WP6 activities in presentation on Science Publishing Infrastructures at the EU 4 May conference

WP7, David Morse, OU.

A written report was circulated before the meeting.

Two staff have been recruited. There are two milestones due at the end of May. These will be shifted to mid-June to follow the joint workshop with WP6 in early June.

An OU hosted ViBRANT server has been set up. A sample data set has been agreed with BHL designed as a test set for tool evaluation. It is based on EU funded IMPACT data, slightly modified to better suit our purposes and that we use both individual pages and whole books.

WP6 is evaluating both bibliographic citation formats and their interoperability and bibliographic tools. This deviates from the workplan by extending the scope of M7.10.

An evaluation of GoldenGATE within the context of ViBRANT has started. Outline design of community driven bibliographic workflow has been agreed.
Interdependencies are WP2 and WP5 using the automation service, and WP3 determining what is required.

Bid to EU is in negotiation (AgINFRA), similar to ViBRANT but in agricultural domain. ViBRANT is a formal collaborator with AgINFRA, built around using Scratchpads. AgINFRA will fund a second developer to be based at the OU targeting mobilisation of agricultural data, much of which is grey literature.

WP8, Christos Arvanitidis, HCMR

No deviation from workplan or budget currently. There are interdependencies with WP2, 5 and 6. WP8 meeting is scheduled in May in Crete. VS and SR will also be in attendance.

Pensoft's work in publishing ecological data is of great interest to WP8's work, providing potential stimulation for amateur naturalists to collect structured data.

Action: LP and CA to discuss crossover between WPs – possibly at Crete meeting.


Twitter does not seem to be working beyond NHM. Everyone else should therefore be using other mechanisms to report their activities. Note the use of the forum is also archived and we encourage WPs to make use of their pages on the ViBRANT site, especially making some publicly accessible

At the end of each project year each WP needs to provide a narrative description of progress, with evidence of activity. This should include lists of publications and conference papers presented. Statistics can be included – any evidence of impact is relevant. Anything where ViBRANT has been engaged must be recorded.

Action: DR to create a Central registry of publications, presentations etc on the ViBRANT site.

Six-monthly reports need to be submitted by all partners (not WPs). This is to justify the 2nd tranche partner payments. Deadline is the end of May and the report should be a maximum of 1 page with a summary of what the partner is doing.

There is no template for this but all the admin contacts have been notified.

Action: WP leaders to bring it to the attention of partners.

Action: DR to send a mid-May reminder to all partners.

Milestone Modifications

The tracking system is working well. Milestones can be edited and changed, and all changes are tracked. When changing milestones brief justification statement is required.

Overdue milestones have all been done, but not ticked off on system. When completing a milestone a link box must be filled in – can be a link to a website, a service, an uploaded document etc.. There is no need for the link to point to the ViBRANT site itself, the deliverable can be anywhere on the web.

Outreach and publicity

A ViBRANT leaflet was produced in great haste for the beginning of project but now needs re-doing. There will be a printed ViBRANT and electronic individual WP leaflets. Isa (WP3) is collating information for WP leaflets. DR appealed for good images to use in outreach materials because graphical content is essential these days for effective publicity material.
All partners are encouraged to use Slideshare or the ViBRANT site to archive presentations that others may find useful for promoting ViBRANT.
Action: WP leaders to provide content on WP to Isa.

Anything supported by ViBRANT activities must be branded with the logo, and possibly the Commission logo; this is required for reporting purposes. If ViBRANT is involved this needs to be recognised.

Events calendar and training

Posting relevant events on the calendar allows travel budgets to be planned. It will help everybody to post events on the calendar as early as possible, even with minimal details

Specifically please note that this year's TDWG meeting was expected to be in Europe and the budget we prepared anticipated that. The announcement of venue in New Orleans will raise the cost of attendance. Partners have individual budgets for travel to be used at their discretion, but we suggest that it would be better to hold travel plans until ViBRANT is further on, i.e. 2012 onwards, when we have real results to contribute.

€10k has been allocated per year for general travel. Applications for travel funds from this central resource must go through WP1 and we will bring any major request back to Man Comm for approval. WP1 will be going through the budget after Easter.

Action: WP1 will check budget against expenditure prior to the 6-month tranche allocation.

Any other business

It was agreed that a regular agenda item be added to look at external links. It was requested that something be put on the website to keep track of connections. This will make reporting easier.

Action: DR to add connections tab to the website

Action: DR to move the next management meeting