Grown from 5 quasi-relational files from before it had the name Mandala to 27 interrelated, interconnected files in version 5.5 and now reduced to 23 tables.
Mandala 8: A Database System that Can Start Out Small and End Up Big Gail E. Kampmeier University of Illinois Institute for Natural Resource Sustainability Division of Illinois Natural History Survey [email_address] Supplemental materials to live demo 27 October 2008 of Mandala database system at Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) meeting, Fremantle, Australia
Cross-platform database system supporting data acquisition & management for systematics & biodiversity studies
Specimens Literature Taxonomic Names Illustrations
Interrelated & Interconnected Viewed this way, it can seem intimidating, but realistically, most functions are accessed from only 3 or 4 tables dealing with TAXA, SPECIMENs, ILLUS (images), & LITERATURE
The PEOPLE table is used to reference, via the PeopleID , all the information stored about a person, permits the flexibility of constructing that person’s name in various ways, & to determine of the various ways a name is presented, which is the senior synonym.
This table (part of TAXA) is referenced for authors of literature; authorities of taxa; illustrators & copyright holders; and determiners, borrowers, lenders, & collectors of specimens.
In prospective data entry of information for specimens or bulk samples, it is more likely that labels will be generated from the information entered & that it will not need much additional interpretation, e.g., latitude, longitude, elevation, & more complete locality & collecting data will be available.
In retrospective capture of specimen data, often from museum specimens that may be over 100 years old & with incomplete or difficult to interpret data, it is more efficient to split the labor of recording the verbatim label(s) in SPECIMEN, which does not require much training, from their interpretation in the LOCALITY & COLLEVENT tables.
Collecting events include the collecting method, collectors, collection date range, abiotic conditions at the time of collection, & a localityID.
Serial collecting events (layout=1) could be unique references to both the locality & event, but because custom collecting eventIDs may NOT be unique, a combination of the LocCollEventID is used as the key.
Not likely the first task you will undertake in Mandala, mining the literature & linking (via an organizing principle) it to a taxon or specimen are activities associated with maturing databases with a specific taxonomic or geographic focus.
A variety of help resources are built into Mandala, from general, file, and field context-sensitive help, to explanations of the icons & terms used in Mandala, to links to online gazetteers, taxonomic name servers, & an index to codens used for many museums & collections.
Although the portal giving the full synonymic list for this species is dynamically generated, the indented list at the right, which is often used in catalogs, is not. This list needs to be regenerated by running the script associated with the single pencil icon on individual records or by clicking on the multiple pencil icon to update all found records.
Although you may do all of your work in SPECIMEN to assemble your specimens examined list, behind the scenes, Mandala is actually pulling your data from many different sources!
PEOPLE -> PEO_JOIN ->TAXA (taxon authorities)
PEOPLE -> PEO_JOIN -> COLLEVENT (collectors)
LOCALITY -> COLLEVENT
MUSEUMS -> DEPOSIT (lending, borrowing, original lending, redistribute to institutions)
View, Print, or Export Specimens Examined List
Or, after finding the records from “Illinois,” for example, click a button at the bottom of the layout on the previous slide to sort your records for specimens examined for a single taxon or multiple taxa. Note here, the taxa are output as listed, without interpolation to a valid taxon name. You could change this on your layout.
Choose to print, export or simply view your results.
After you’ve found the records you want (we searched for the state of “Illinois”), you can choose a button at the bottom of the layout on the previous slide to sort your records for faunal lists by the taxon listed or by the valid name.
Choose to print, export or simply view your results.
Mandala now manages loans from several different perspectives, so you must choose in which you are interested.
Find this button on layout to lead you here 7
Loan Management... … depends on perspective & context and is handled in DEPOSIT. Context = taxa , sent by or received by you from museums or collections; bypasses specimens & lists groups of taxa in a loan in BULKSAMPLE. Context = specimens , owned by you, or sent by or received from museums or collections. Recorded on tab in SPECIMEN table. May be the partitioning of context = taxa Context = borrower & loanID , where subsamples (usually taxonomically based) of one or many larger samples are tagged to send to a specialist (=borrower) under a single loan (=shipment). Uses Sample entry of SPECIMEN, BULKSAMPLE, & DEPOSIT tables. 7
Kampmeier, G.E. & Irwin, M.E. 2009. Meeting the interrelated challenges of tracking specimen, nomenclature, and literature data in Mandala . Chapter 15 in T. Pape, D. Bickel, & R. Meier [eds.], Diptera Diversity: Status, Challenges and Tools . Koninklijke Brill NV.
Acknowledgements Michael E. Irwin F. Chris Thompson Neal Evenhuis Chris Lambkin Don Webb Mark Metz Martin Hauser Kevin Holston Steve Gaimari J. Marie Metz Amanda Buck Kristin Algmin Andy Bennett John Pickering Shelah Morita FMWebschool University of Illinois DiscoverLife.org Schlinger Foundation Hatch ILLU 875-380 NSF Therevid PEET DEB 95-21925 & 99-77958 NSF BSI for Fiji Bioinventory of Arthropods DEB 0425790 Illinois Natural History Survey NSF AToL for Diptera EF-0334948 NSF Tabanid PEET DEB 07-31528