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  • Olaf Bánki and Joe Miller

Your name here: ChecklistBank seeks editor and offers new tools for taxonomy

Catalogue of Life and GBIF release ChecklistBank infrastructure, announce search for new editor to assemble a semi-automated part of the COL Checklist

Over the past two years GBIF and the Catalogue of Life (COL) have jointly developed a new open data infrastructure called ChecklistBank. Through a collaboration noted as a marquee example for the alliance for biodiversity knowledge, the two partners have built an infrastructure to support the wider needs of the global biodiversity informatics community. COL and GBIF will rely on ChecklistBank to develop the GBIF taxonomic backbone and monthly and annual updates to the COL Checklist. The tens of thousands of taxonomic checklists available in ChecklistBank will improve the processes for generating these important datasets, meanwhile representing the largest repository of taxonomic checklists available.

In a related development, COL and GBIF are seeking a contractor to serve as COL's global species catalogue editor. The incumbent will have responsibility for assembling a semi-automated part of the COL Checklist that will improve its taxonomic coverage and usefulness in delivering taxonomic services for GBIF-mediated occurrences. This new position provides an exciting opportunity to work with global open data infrastructures, a team of dedicated experts and the global taxonomic community to build a high-impact international data resource.

More about ChecklistBank

With ChecklistBank and its first tools now operational, both COL and GBIF are eager to receive input from members of the taxonomic community on how best to leverage, attribute and credit contributed knowledge that serves the biodiversity community.

People can publish a checklist by directly uploading a file and its metadata in ColDP, DwC-A or ACEF formats. ChecklistBank generates a standardized interpretation that enables users to access different tools like the cross-dataset search, which allows direct comparison of taxon names across two different checklists. Each checklist dataset can also be searched, browsed, downloaded or accessed programmatically via the ChecklistBank API.

The new tool development within ChecklistBank and the editor position are supported in part by Biodiversity Community Integrating Knowledge Library (BiCIKL), an EU- funded consortium project focused on improving links between taxonomic names, collection specimens, DNA sequences, specimens and the literature references. Future tools will make it easy, for example, to assemble datasets such as national species checklists, and training materials and events supported through the GBIF-COL collaboration in the coming months will introduce ChecklistBank to the community.

Community engagement will be a key responsibility for the new editor, as they identify checklists that can fill known gaps in ChecklistBank and assemble a semi-automated version of the COL Checklist capable of serving as the main taxonomic discovery service for GBIF-mediated data.


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