Field Book Project CBHL 2012
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Field Book Project CBHL 2012






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  • Department of Botany1,018 botanical field books created by 168 field biologists
  • Make all question marks the same. Maybe the blue one.How to bring together?We have these EAC records and that’s a really good start, but how are we going to get all of these records into one united Field Book Registry? This is not a new idea. The library world has OCLC and the natural history and taxonomic communities, already do this very well. GBIF does this, and projects like BISON and iDigBio are moving forward.Best practices are key, and we hope some of the research and decisions we’ve made can serve as ground work for an effective and easy to adopt approach. EAC archival records will be key. And there are also workflows and policies to work out. Which is the real meat of where we want to focus our attention as the developers are wrapping up the Registry. I’m hoping to hear input from a lot of you while we’re here on what that might look like.Of course, there’s also the technology and there’s a lot of work to be done there. We have a robust system under development in Islandora, which combines a Fedora repository with a Drupal content management system. So it’s designed to handle large files and amounts of information efficiently. We’ll be testing that system and some initial ingest partners as part of Connecting Content, our sister project out of the California Academy of Sciences.Establish best practices. Informed by information needs. Draw on existing standards. Tailor to provide low barrier for entry – potential contributors may have lots of resources, or only a few. We don’t want to create a system that requires massive resources just so we can say we’re responding to all user needs. So how do we do that?There are a number of existing descriptive standards out there – I’ll touch on how we selected ours, and how we used input from researchers to guide our implementation of those. I’ll then talk about how that can expand into a larger, community contributed resource.A big part of is best practices. The technology is important but first we have to get on the same page of what is needed and how to approach. I’m not implying that there is only one way, or one prescriptive solution, but agreeing on the underlying access points make compatibility and extension possible.
  • By Oxyman (Own work) [GFDL (<a rel="nofollow" href=""></a>), CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC-BY-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons
  • This mash up is a page I made from the Antarctic Field GuideThe Antarctic Field Guides is a collaborative tool offering free access to information that can help you identify Antarctic organisms. it allows users to build a tailor-made, customized guide, to be taken in the field or simply browsed. The pages are generated on-the-fly from the contents of authoritative, quality controlled data resources (SCAR-MarBIN, ANTABIF, RAMS, GBIF), and ensures the user to access up-to-date information about the group of organisms he/she is interested in. Even if the primary focus is for scientists, the AFGs are open and free for all to enjoy.

Field Book Project CBHL 2012 Field Book Project CBHL 2012 Presentation Transcript

  • Connecting Content: The Field Book Project at the Smithsonian and at theCalifornia Academy of Sciences Carolyn Sheffield, Project Manager Field Book Project, Smithsonian
  • Two Projects Field Book Project Connecting Content• Led by PIs Rusty Russell • Led by PI Becky Morin and and Anne Van Camp initiated with former co-PI• Improve access to Danielle Castronovo biodiversity field books • Enable links between field• Cataloging, conserving, di books, specimens, and gitizing published literature
  • Examples of field books
  • Examples of field books?
  • And this.
  • Related projects
  • Related Cataloging Practices MARC 15.4% No answer Dublin Core 33.3% 10.3% EAD 12.8% Specify Local 2.6% Schema ICMS 17.9% 7.7%
  • Information Needs• Geographical location – 67%• Environment and habitat descriptions – 41%• Species information – 33%• Narrative or historical information – 15%
  • Existing Standards• Collection Level: Natural Collections Description (NCD)• Item level: Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS)• Archival Authority Control: Encoded Archival Context (EAC)
  • Metadata! EAC Organization NCD CollectionOrgId: EACO9 CollectionId: NCDC78Name: Smithsonian Institution, Title: Frederick Coville,National Museum of Natural History, field books, 1890-1924Department of Botany Owner: EACO9 Creator: EACP173 Description: The collection consists of EAC Person Covilles field notes from botanical collecting and observation efforts in …PersonId: EACP173Name: Coville, Frederick(Frederick Vernon), 1867-1937Dates: 1867-1937 MODS ItemBiographical history: Frederick Vernon MODSid: MODSI1281Coville, botanist and blueberry Collection: NCDC78breeder, was born in New York and Title: Field notes, Death Valleyeducated… Expedition, 1891 Dates: 1891.05.10-1891.07.30EAC Expedition Creator: EACP173ExpId: EACE0017 Expedition: EACE 0017Name: Death Valley Expedition Abstract: This item contains narrativeDates: 1890-1891 notes and lists of botanical specimensDescription: The Death Valley Expedition collected or observed during Covilleswas the first biological survey to … research in Death Valley . …
  • Field Books Cataloged to Date• Item Records: 5,220• Collection Records: 450• EAC (Authority) Records: 792
  • How will we bring them together?
  • Connecting Content 13
  • Two Separate Projects
  • Partners
  • Pilot ProjectsDigitization focusing on field books and specimens & 16
  • Present Content in an Open Harvestable Manner 17
  • Encyclopedia of Life 18
  • JSTOR Plant Science
  • Smithsonian Field Book RegistryPartners will Contribute Natural Collections Description (NCD) records for field notes 20
  • Biodiversity Heritage Library 21
  • Challenge: Making the Connections Ambiguity often exists between field notes and individual specimens and objects 22
  • Results: Data Mashups 23
  • Next Steps for Both Projects• Testing, iterating, streamlining the Field Book Registry• EAC records for automated linking• Acquiring new partners and content in all aforementioned resources• Crowd sourcing field note transcriptions and text processing of taxonomic names• Pilot project mash-ups made public and encourage others to create their own mashups
  • Acknowledgments• Connecting Content, California Academy of Sciences Library for contributing beautiful slides• Project teams and partners on Connecting Content and Field Book Project
  • Connecting ContentWebsite: Contact: Project Manager Yolanda Bustos 26
  • Field Book ProjectWebsite: Contact: Carolyn Sheffield,
  • Thank you