Paper No. 105-7
Presentation Time: 9:30 AM
PALEOBIOLOGY SPECIMEN DATA AND THE ROLE OF DATA AGGREGATORS – THE IDIGBIO PERSPECTIVE
iDigBio – Integrated Digitized Biocollections - is the U.S. National Science Foundation’s national resource and coordinating center for biodiversity specimen digitization and data mobilization in the United States. The iDigBio portal (http://portal.idigbio.org/) currently aggregates and serves more than 60 million biodiversity specimen records, with 3 million constituting fossil specimen records from 35 collections representing 21 institutions. Seven of these institutions provide approximately 150,000 media records, usually consisting of a 2D image of the fossil itself. Though iDigBio’s focus for digitization support is restricted to public, non-federal institutions in the United States, the data shared through the portal are worldwide in scope, with major contributions from museums and other collections in Australia, Canada, Europe, and South America. Based on input from the iDigBio Minimum Information for Scientific Collections and Paleo Digitization and Data working groups, the portal and API currently supports indexed search fields for 16 paleontological/geological-specific-elements, and the iDigBio cyberinfrastructure team has collaborated with several major database providers to ensure the appropriate mapping of aggregated Darwin Core data. While many of the paleo-related data elements that iDigBio stores are well-defined with accepted controlled vocabularies, other elements increasingly important for research purposes are not yet delivered by data providers and publishers or lack well-vetted vocabularies and await consensus from the paleo community. Although few data providers populate every paleo-context field, it is the goal of iDigBio to share and attribute all data provided via publishers and to work closely with the paleo and neo-biological communities in the revision and enrichment of its data schema.