INTRODUCING PBOT, THE INTEGRATIVE PALEOBOTANY PORTAL
In 2020, our group received EarthCube funding to address these problems by creating PBot, The Integrative Paleobotany Portal. PBot will consist of an online workbench and graph database that allow the paleobotanical community to (1) create novel, dynamic, community-sourced character schemas for describing plant fossils; (2) enter and browse informal and formal taxonomies via morphological characters; and (3) maintain a community forum for commentary on PBOT contents. It will work with and complement existing databases (iDigBio and the Paleobiology Database) to enhance utility and accessibility of paleobotanical data, allowing paleobotanists to easily fulfill NSF data management plans. Further, the online workbench will provide a standardized resource for fossil plant description and data entry that will benefit students and professionals, as well as fossil enthusiasts. Our team wants to create a system that is “of the community, by the community, and for the community,” and so we have organized two large virtual workshops to introduce the PBot design and solicit input.