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Abstract Detail

The Future of Digital Projects for Research and Teaching in Botany

Kalfatovic , Martin Robert [1].

The Biodiversity Heritage Library: Empowering Discovery through Free Access to Biodiversity Knowledge.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) has no bricks, no mortar, but rather stands as a vast online collection of biodiversity knowledge compiled from the collections of natural history and botanical libraries the world over. These collections--comprised of scientific journals, books, and archival collections--provide information critical to the study of life on our planet. Replete with species descriptions and occurrence data, ecosystem profiles, behavioral observations, and climatic records, these collections inform current research and provide historical information on species abundance, habitat alteration, and human exploration. In many cases, these publications are only physically available in one or two locations throughout the world. Formed in 2006, BHL is transforming the way scientists, researchers, and librarians around the world can access knowledge about and study life on Earth. Through a worldwide partnership of over two-dozen organizations, BHL has become the largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature. Sadly, much of these publications and archives are available in only a few select libraries in the developed world. Scientists have long considered that lack of access to biodiversity literature is a major impediment to the efficiency of scientific research. The BHL is an open access digital library for biodiversity literature. Operating as a consortium of natural history and botanical institutions and headquartered at the Smithsonian Libraries, the BHL collections contain over 54 million pages from over 224,000 volumes. Services such as taxonomic name finding tools, custom PDF downloads, and open APIs allow users to easily locate and reuse these resources. Additionally, BHL has made over 122,000 of the illustrations within its collection available in Flickr, which in turn have been viewed over 314 million times. Natural History books and archives provide information that is critical to studying biodiversity. Replete with species data, ecosystem profiles, distribution maps, behavioral and inter-dependency observations, and geological and climatic records, this literature underpins current scientific research and provides an historical perspective on species abundance, habitat alteration, and human exploration, culture, and discovery. In many cases, these publications constitute the only available knowledge for rare, endangered, and extinct species. BHL is revolutionizing the way scientific research and conservation are conducted, helping scientists to identify, describe, and conserve the world’s species and the habitats that support them.

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Related Links:
Biodiversity Heritage Library

1 - Smithsonian Libraries / Biodiversity Heritage Library, 10th and Const. Ave., NW, MRC 154, Washington, DC, 20560, United States

biodiversity literature
Biodiversity Heritage Library

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY4, The future of digital projects for research and teaching in botany
Location: 103/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Tuesday, July 24th, 2018
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: SY4003
Abstract ID:420
Candidate for Awards:None

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