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Open Content: Breathing New Life into Old Data

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Talk and poster presented at SPARC Open Access meeting 2012 …

Talk and poster presented at SPARC Open Access meeting 2012

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize and make accessible the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.” The primary principles of the BHL are to be Extensive, Open, and Global. We’ll discussion how the principle of Open has driven decisions to provide historic content in as many forms as possible for others to harvest and reuse. We’ll highlight some creative uses of BHL data by other projects and individuals and finally we’ll discuss some factors that we believe are key to making open content more successful.

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  • 1. Open Content and the BHL: Breathing New Life into Old Data by Trish Rose-Sandler, Biodiversity Heritage Library, Missouri Botanical Garden, St Louis, MO PRINCIPLES DATA (RE-)USE KEYS TO SUCCESS The Biodiversity Heritage Library Harvestable data allows data which (BHL) is a consortium of natural was created for a specific purpose and history and botanical libraries that audience (e.g. historic texts, cooperate to digitize and make nomenclatural services, encyclopedias) accessible the legacy literature of to interact with other data and serve biodiversity and to make that new, previously unimagined, roles. literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.” BHL properly licenses its data to clarify terms of use BHL serves as the literature component of the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). It uses services to automatically generate bibliographies from BHL Extensive literature and connect them with the associated species pages in EOL. In this example the wolf. (http://eol.org/) Aiming for a critical mass of biodiversity literature BHL provides data via: • APIs • Data exports Global • OpenURL Originating in the US and UK, • OAI-PMH BHL now has nodes in Europe, China, Australia, Brazil, Egypt, and Africa The website and webservice BioStor by Rod Page provides tools for extracting, annotating, and visualising information on literature from BHL (http://biostor.org/). In this example, Rod has identified articles found in BHL promotes data via: the Proceedings of the United States National Museum. • presentations • papers • social communication Open platforms Data is freely available for viewing, downloading, and re-use Ryan Schenk is using publication dates of works in BHL to build histograms of the number of publications-per-year for specific species, In this example, the Guniea Pig (http://synynyms.no.de/ )

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