Paper No. 105-2
Presentation Time: 8:15 AM
THE COMPLEXITIES OF FOSSIL DATA ADVANCES: AN APPROACH BY THE SMITHSONIAN NMNH DEPARTMENT OF PALEOBIOLOGY
The advancement of fossil specimen data as it relates to databases and standards, and pushes for more mobilization presents many challenges. How do paleontologists and collections professionals meet these challenges? How do we engage with natural history data programs (e.g. iDigBio and GBIF)? How do we implement data initiatives and strategies (e.g. Darwin Core)? The solution to these questions can easily become overly complex. In the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Paleobiology we have established guidelines for focusing our approach in order to minimize the possible complexities. Our approach has included efforts to evaluate our collections database (EMu), build digitization workflows, and assess data management practices. While maintaining the guidelines we have established, we have also considered the growth of the global collections community, looking at what standards exist or are lacking, how data are structured, and what the data needs are in the biodiversity informatics field. In this discussion we will share our approach and guidelines and hope to invite collaboration for further research and evaluation with our peers.