WP5 Modeler's Meeting Budapest 07-08.05.2007

The WP5 Modeler's Meeting will be held at the Hotel Szent György Kúria, Budapest on 07-08.05.2007.

For more information concerning accommodation and travel to Hungary please contact Andras Gubanyi.

What is Cybertaxonomy?

During the last ISTC Meeting Mark Jackson, Martin Pullan and I engaged in an informal discussion - What is cybertaxonomy?

The term cybertaxonomy has existed before the EDIT project, but there never really has been a formal definition assigned to it other than just "eTaxonomy". I first heard the term used by Quentin Wheeler during the annual Systematics Association Meeting in 2002, however, it was only referred to as a process of integrating etaxonomic resources. Four years later Mark, Martin and I attempted to define it ourselves. Here is what we came up with:

1. A taxonomic work process that involves the use of standardised electronic tools to access information (databases, e-publications) and/or to generate knowledge bases (identification keys) (Malte C. Ebach, BGBM).

2. The process by which information available in, or converted into from non digital sources, standardized electronic format is collated analysed and synthesised into a digital representation of one or more taxon concepts. The end product of which is a combination of outputs in both digital and non-digital formats (Martin Pullan, RBGE).

3. The practice of taxonomy, usually in an online environment, using (and innovating in the use of) software tools (Mark Jackson, RBGK).

Recently Vince Smith (NHML) ( has also joined the debate adding:

4. The use of computers and the World Wide Web in a program of taxonomic research.

Cybertaxonomy perhaps lies somewhere in between - an integrated way to do taxonomy using standardized electronic tools and resources. Since taxonomists are moving toward an electronic taxonomy or etaxonomy by themselves, a definition will certainly arise one way or the other. Either way, EDIT WP5 is committed to providing the platform that will support etaxonomy, whatever it is termed.

Recorder evaluation

WP7 is taking a look at the Recorder software to be used for the ATBI fieldwork and maybe also simple collection management. The software is currently undergoing many changes and there is a web based version planned too.

WP5 Update 1

In last few weeks the WP5 team have been busy finalising the second 18 month EDIT budget and work plan (JPA). The new 18 month plan (see under About) has 5 new activities extrapolated from the original work plan. The new activities include WP5.5 lead by Anton Güntsch (BGBM) that deals with taxonomic core components; WP5.6 lead by Regine Vignes (MNHN) specialises in descriptive tools; WP5.7 lead by Robert Tolksdorf (FUB) investigates communication tools; WP5.8 lead by the BGBM deals with publications support tools and WP5.9 is investigating specimen access platform components.

The WP5 team have also completed two deliverables in the first 18 Month period (Months 0 - 11). These are WP5.2.1.1 (RBGK) Draft functional model and bottleneck report for revisionary taxonomy and WP5.3.1.1 (NHML) Existing Digital Library activity, principles and standards. The deliverables are currently available to all WP5 members on the WP5 wiki.

Information Science & Technology Committee (ISTC)

ISTC is still looking for members from EDIT partner institutions. If you are interested in joining the ISTC or would like your institution to be represented please contact Malte C. Ebach (WP5 Coordinator) providing the name and contact details of the appropriate person. Typically this would be a person responsible for the institutions IT department, a biologist chairing the institutions IT group, or some similar responsible position.

Publishing of taxonomic data. Webinterface mockups available.

Two exemplar goups in WP6 have developed mockups for webinterfaces to publish taxomic data. A draft for the Cichorieae can be found here:, for the palms here:

WP5.2, 5.7 and WP6 Meeting in RBGK - Report (22-23.01.2007)

WP5.2, 5.7 and WP6 meeting the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew to discuss the modeling effort of WP5.2, interactions between WP5, 6 & CATE and the WP5.7 communication tools platform.

To download the meeting report please click here.

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