C5.50 Report on integration of existing descriptive tools into the Platform

Several existing tools allow the management of descriptive data, the construction of printable keys and the identification with free access keys. Their inventory and analysis were performed in a former step. Although none of the existing tools stands out against the others, several of them have an extensive user interface, are already adopted by biologists and were validated by numerous applications and taxonomic keys. These tools have hence proven their interest and their accessibility for taxonomists even if they have little or no previous computer experience. The European project KeytoNature, with which a collaboration is in progress, will also contribute to promote the interest in such systems and to distribute applications for multiple audiences.

The improvement of the existing tools is encouraged by the positive stimulation between providers. In addition, the cost in resources (persons and time) to design and implement a new tool for identification in the context of the EDIT Common Data Model (CDM) is considered to exceed the presently available resources. Also, as EDIT’s objective is to facilitate sharing of information and access to resources for the taxonomic community, enforcing the use of a new and unique tool would contradict this spirit. We feel that taking advantage of past advances made by the community by increasing their availability and interoperability will be the best option.

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