BROAD CITIZEN-SCIENCE ENGAGEMENT, ENHANCED PRESERVATION OF METADATA, AND PUBLIC ACCESSIBILITY OF INDIANA’S FOSSIL RECORD USING AN INTEGRATED DIGITAL REPOSITORY AND COLLECTION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM USING A DISTRIBUTED FRAMEWORK CONNECTED BY DARWIN CORE
We adopted a distributed architecture that uses DarwinCore metadata schema to connect this repository with the Specify collection management system. The repository is implemented in Fedora4 with a user interface built in Sufia. We utilize Specify to manage taxonomic, geographic, and stratigraphic revisions to specimen data and to propagate those updates to the digital repository. The repository provides uniform resource identifiers for digital objects linked to International Geological Sample Numbers assigned to physical fossils in our collection. This solution allows us to efficiently digitize and promote the discovery of our collections on broader platforms that include the iDigBio portal, the Indiana Geological Names Information System, and more.
This project is part of a long-term revitalization plan for the Paleontology Collection at Indiana University (IUPC). IUPC has been a formal research repository for fossil and stratigraphic collections since 1903. In the past several years, efforts by IU geobiology faculty have secured deep-rooted institutional support for the mission of the collection, including hiring a part-time collections manager, investing in complete renovation and reorganization of the physical holdings, and providing cyber-infrastructural support for the collections to be digitized and made accessible to the broader scientific community.