[Tdwg-lit] Level 2 summary

Anna Weitzman Weitzman at si.edu
Thu Mar 9 17:58:19 CET 2006

Greetings all,
In the case of Level 2, we still have a good deal of work to do to decide
on the recommendation for a standard for content and metadata.
To try to start some conversation about this, we'd like to offer some ideas
on what we have heard from others about why this standard is important. 
First, let's think about a couple of uses for this standard.
In Christchurch at the TDWG meeting in 2004, Rich Pyle suggested the need
for a central repository for references of taxonomic works so that
taxonomists (and others) could simply pick the references that they needed
from a list and they would get a bibliographic or literature cited citation
in a form that they need for submission of a publication, building a CV,
etc.  I believe he was hoping for an open access version of EndNote or the
like, that would support us all so we don't each have to build such lists.  
Gregor has just made much the same point.  To have this functionality, we
would need several things, but first, we would need the standard.
In the formation of the Biodiversity Heritage Library (http://bhl.si.edu/),
which Neil mentioned earlier today, the group working on it, largely from
the libraries, are, apparently for the first time, attempting to catalogue
biodiversity literature (larger than taxonomic, but including taxonomic) at
the level of article, chapter, or volume of a book series, and not only at
the higher level as libraries have traditionally done.  At the same time,
they are working on what the metadata will need to be to added, etc.  Those
working on the BHL have expressed an interest in joining our work on the
level 2 standard, so it will serve all of our needs.  They are currently
working on getting funding for a Union Catalog of these publications.
It seems to us, that this is the ideal opportunity for librarians and
taxonomists to finally settle on a common way of indexing, cataloguing,
describing, and finding taxonomic literature (and beyond).  If the BHL can
fund and build such a system that contains all of the information needed for
their catalogue, we hope that it can be built upon in such ways that
taxonomists will be able to use it as Rich described, as well as to generate
level 1 strings and hold metadata related to language, and to contain and
generate LSIDs in such a way as to link all of these.   
There will, of course, then be a relation to level 3, which will also need
to link the level 2 database(s) and be able to used the scanned material
that the BHL is generating to create the larger database(s) using the level
3 standard to make all literature interoperable and to make it further
interoperable with other biodiversity data (names, concepts, specimens,
barcodes, etc).
Anna & Chris

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