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A Vast Library of Life: The Biodiversity Heritage Library

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Presentation delivered by Martin R. Kalfatovic and Grace Costantino at a public talk hosted by the National Library, Singapore on 17 March, 2017.

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A Vast Library of Life: The Biodiversity Heritage Library

  1. 1. Martin R. Kalfatovic Twitter@BHLProgDirector Program Director Biodiversity Heritage Library Smithsonian Libraries 17 March 2017 A Vast Library of Life The Biodiversity Heritage Library
  2. 2. “The cultivation of natural history cannot be efficiently carried out without reference to an extensive library.” Charles Darwin, et al (1847)
  3. 3. Extensive. Open. Global
  4. 4. Inspiring Discovery through Free Access to Biodiversity Knowledge Over 10 years of inspiring discovery 15th-21st centuries through free & open access to biodiversity literature & archives from the Mission The Biodiversity Heritage Library improves research methodology by collaboratively making biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community.
  5. 5. A global project that encompasses Technology Libraries Science
  6. 6. Biodiversity then …
  7. 7. Natural history literature and archives contain information that is critical to studying life on Earth. SPECIES DESCRIPTIONS DISTRIBUTION RECORDS HISTORY OF SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY CLIMATE RECORDS INFORMATION ON EXTINCT SPECIES SCIENTIFIC OBSERVATIONS ECOSYSTEM PROFILES SCIENTIFIC ILLUSTRATIONS
  8. 8. Extensive. Open. Global
  9. 9. “Last year I threw down the gauntlet to [BHL staff] and asked if there was any possibility of BHL arranging to have made available the entire run of the UK periodical The Gardeners' Chronicle. I asked because there is nowhere in my country of residence (Denmark) that holds it, requiring that I make time consuming and expensive research trips to London or Cambridge in the UK should I wish to examine the periodical. I was amazed and delighted that BHL has achieved what I asked. This contribution to the BHL catalogue has been a real boon to my research.” Dr. Toby Musgrave Horticulturalist & Botanist Lecturer, Danish Institute for Study Abroad EXTENSIVE
  10. 10. “Biologists are inclined to agree that it [biodiversity] is in one sense everything” E.O. Wilson
  11. 11. BHL can’t have everything, but we try to include as much as possible!
  12. 12. 51+MILLION PAGES TITLES VOLUMES 114,000+ 194,000+ 173+MILLIONINSTANCES OF TAXONOMIC NAMES 578+IN-COPYRIGHT TITLES LICENSED FOR BHL AGREEMENTS WITH 250+ LICENSORS *Stats as of February 2017
  13. 13. Systema naturae per regna tria naturae. Ed. 10, 1758. Carl von Linné. biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/542 ___________________ Considered the starting point of zoological nomenclature. Listed about 10,000 species of organisms, of which about 6,000 are plants and 4,236 are animals. The earliest work in BHL is Theophrasti De Historia plantarum liber primus (1483) biodiversitylibrary.org/page/40913187
  14. 14. Not just “heritage” collections > 23% of BHL's collection of 188,970 items is post-1922 > 72.3% of BHL’s collection is free of copyright restriction in the United States As of August 2016
  15. 15. Logbook of the yacht "France" Whitney South Sea Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History Volume: v.2 (1926-1928) biodiversitylibrary.org/page/44821245 __________________ BHL includes over 100,000 pages of Field Notes and related archival material. Ongoing transcription projects will make these fully searchable.
  16. 16. Bonn Zoological Bulletin 61 (1): 135- 39 (July 2012) biodiversitylibrary.org/page/4482124 ___________________ With the assistance of BioStor, BHL now indexes over 202,000 articles, chapters or other “segments” of BHL content. These are all searchable through the bibliographic interface to BHL. Scotopteryx kuznetzovi (Wardikian, 1957) (Lepidoptera, Geometridae, Larentiinae), a new species for the fauna of Iran and Turkey Hossein Rajaei Sh.* & Dieter Stuning
  17. 17. Charles Darwin’s Library biodiversitylibrary.org/browse/collection/darwi nlibrary ___________________ A digital edition and virtual reconstruction of the surviving books owned by Charles Darwin. It also provides full transcriptions of his annotations and marks. These works provide important insight into the development of Darwin’s ideas on evolution and natural selection. "If this were true, adios theory" Charles Darwin wrote these words in response to reading Principles of Geology, v. 2 (1837) by Charles Lyell, who was arguing that changes in species have limitations. Darwin, on the other hand, argued that changes in species are infinite and continuous, an integral concept crucial to his theory of evolution.
  18. 18. “[BHL] is a fantastic resource, making research possible that would never have been considered in the past. I use it to find information on particular species and also to find source documents for further analysis. The ability to search by taxon name is invaluable.” Dr. Quentin Groom Research Assistant and Biogeographer Botanic Garden Meise, Belgium OPEN
  19. 19. A Commitment to Open Access… BHL is a charter signatory of the Bouchout Declaration for Open Biodiversity Knowledge Management. Fundamental principles of the Declaration: Free & Open Use Policies to Foster Free & Open Access Persistent Identifiers Tracking Identifiers to Ensure Attribution Infrastructure, Standards & Protocols to Improve Access Linked Data Sustainable Knowledge Management Registers for Content & Services
  20. 20. CUSTOM PDF DOWNLOADS 517,000+ TO DATE ARTICLE INDEXING 202,000+ TO DATE DOI ASSIGNMENT 104,000+ TO DATE BHL offers a range of free services API & DATA EXPORTS TAXONOMIC NAME SEARCHING REFERENCE MANAGEMENT TOOLS *Stats as of November 2016
  21. 21. Agatea violaris Type specimen from the U.S. National Herbarium (Smithsonian Institution) collected by the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842
  22. 22. Agatea violaris Type specimen from the U.S. National Herbarium (Smithsonian Institution) collected by the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 Illustration from the USExEx
  23. 23. Species Description from the USExEx
  24. 24. “Congratulations on a superior on-line library service that is of great help to anybody that has no direct access to old literature (like many scientists in developing countries). I used to be located in the Natural History Museum in Leiden, Netherlands with an excellent library, but after my retirement I moved to Brazil and lost direct contact with the Leiden library. In many cases BHL now provides what I am looking for.” Dr. Marinus Hoogmoed Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians, 1963-2003 Naturalis Biodiversity Center GLOBAL
  25. 25. BHL is a Global Consortium 18MEMBERS AS OF MARCH 2017 15AFFILIATES 60+ WORLDWIDE PARTNERS
  26. 26. 1. London 2. New York 3. Mexico City 4. Paris 5. Sydney 6. Berlin 7. Washington 8. Melbourne 9. New Delhi 10. Sao Paulo Top 10 Cities by Sessions, CY 2016
  27. 27. 1. Bangkok 2. Quezon City 3. Singapore 4. Jakarta 5. Hanoi 6. Makati 7. Kuala Lumpur 8. Cebu City 9. Ho Chi Minh City 10. Surabaya Top 10 ASEAN Cities by Sessions, CY 2016
  28. 28. 5.9+MILLION TOTAL USERS TO DATE AVERAGE MONTHLY USERS (CY16)109,000+ 11+ MILLION TOTAL WEBSITE VISITS TO DATE AVERAGE MONTHLY VISITS (CY16)176,000+ VISITS FROM 243COUNTRIES & TERRITORIES *Stats as of February 2017
  29. 29. 124,295 users February 2016 CY 2016 2.123m sessions 1.162m users 96,862 users/month 2007-2016
  30. 30. 8.51% sessions Mobile Sessions CY 2015 10.45% sessions Mobile Sessions CY 2016 Mobile sessions increase by 34.43% over the past year
  31. 31. “BHL is radically changing the status quo and democratizing access to knowledge about biodiversity. Now anyone in the world has instant access to the original species description in a couple of clicks.” Dr. John Sullivan Evolutionary Biologist Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia Cornell University GLOBAL & COLLABORATIVE
  32. 32. BHL collaborates with and contributes content to a variety of partners…
  33. 33. BHL collaborates with and contributes content to a variety of partners… Two more recent collaboration opportunities
  34. 34. Engagement BHL is used in exhibitions in our partner institutions, such as “Once There Were Billions” at the National Museum of Natural History.
  35. 35. “BHL provides an excellent service for studies of marine and other biodiversity. I’ve said it before, you folks do a great job. Keep up the good work; you’ve got lots of admirers out there.” Dr. Thomas Carefoot Marine Biologist University of British Columbia, Canada Expanding Directions
  36. 36. 107,000+ IMAGES IN FLICKR TOTAL IMAGES TAGGED29,900+ 202+MILLION TOTAL VIEWS ON IMAGES OF TOTAL FLICKR COLLECTION TAGGED TAGGED IMAGES IN EOL 27% 18,000+ BHL FLICKR NAMED 1 OF WIRED’S 27 MUST-FOLLOW FEEDS IN THE WORLD OF SCIENCE *Stats as of November 2016 WWW.FLICKR.COM/BIODIVLIBRARY
  37. 37. Engage with audiences
  38. 38. Support BHL Financial Sustainability CafePress: http://www.cafepress.com/biodiversityheritagelibrary
  39. 39. 64,500+ TOTAL FOLLOWERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA TOTAL FOLLOWERS 11,800+ TOTAL FOLLOWERS 11,400+ TOTAL FOLLOWERS 32,300+ TOTAL FOLLOWERS 5,000+ AVERAGE MONTHLY READERS (CY16) 2,300+ FOLLOW @BIODIVLIBRARY *Stats as of February 2017 TOTAL FOLLOWERS 4,000+
  40. 40. AWARDS • Digital Library Federation (DLF) 2016 Community/Capacity Award (joint recipient with Archive of American Broadcasting). 2016 • Internet Archive Hero Award. Global Leaders in Sharing Knowledge. 2015 • Laureate. IDG’s Computerworld Honors Program. • Charles Robert Long Award of Extraordinary Merit. Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries. 2013 • Victorian Government Arts Leadership Recognition Award (BHL Australia). 2012 • John Thackray Medal. The Society for the History of Natural History. 2011 • Outstanding Collaboration Award. Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS). 2010
  41. 41. “Joining BHL represents a greater opportunity for CONABIO to provide broader access to Mexico’s biodiversity knowledge contained within published literature. We believe that only with a well-informed society it is possible to develop and strengthen a culture of appreciation and valuation of Mexico’s natural capital.” Dr. José Sarukhán CONABIO National Coordinator Mexico City, Mexico In Closing …
  42. 42. A Larger Context … Supporting the Convention on Biodiversity
  43. 43. A Larger Context … Convention on Biodiversity (CBD Article 17, 1992) “It shall also, where feasible, include repatriation of information.”
  44. 44. A Larger Context … Darwin Declaration (1998) “The essential requirements for accessing and utilising this global information are: that existing information held in literature and by current experts is made available electronically”
  45. 45. A Larger Context … The Biodiversity Commons BHL strives to be part of that larger Biodiversity Commons and provide a space for the literature of biodiversity to be widely available
  46. 46. The Commons succeeds when, among other elements, there is "the presence of a community; small and stable populations with a thick social network and social norms". Elinor Ostrom, "Sustainable development and the tragedy of commons" (2009)
  47. 47. BHL has created that community among our natural history and botanical libraries
  48. 48. By engaging with the larger biodiversity community, by being a cornerstone of the “biodiversity conmons,” and major stakeholder institutions, BHL is creating a sustainable biodiversity commons for the literature of taxonomy.
  49. 49. Specimens, data, publications...
  50. 50. The Sixth Extinction The "normal" rate of extinction is one species every four years. Today, species are going extinct at a rate of FOUR per HOUR.
  51. 51. Terima kasih Thank you நன்றி 谢谢
  52. 52. THE STORY OF ENGAGEMENT USING OUTREACH TO SHARE THE BHL STORY Grace Costantino Share your thoughts on social media using #BHLib BHL Outreach and Communication Manager
  53. 53. OUTREACH STRATEGY USING OUR BLOG AND SOCIAL MEDIA TO ENGAGE WITH AUDIENCES AND SHARE OUR STORIES blog.biodiversitylibrary.org @BioDivLibrary on: www.flickr.com/biodivlibrary
  54. 54. SUPPORTING ACCESS, RESEARCH & IMPACT Dr. Nura Abdul Karim “SBG Library believes that BHL, with its rich digital repository of biological information, will continue to play an important role in botanical research and has indirectly also become a platform for long-term preservation of historical and legacy biodiversity literatures.” DEPUTY DIRECTOR | Library, Training & External Relations. Singapore Botanic Gardens
  55. 55. SUPPORTING… Access Dr. Nura Abdul Karim “In Southeast Asia, many of the researchers in botanical institutions with very limited resources are hard-pressed to access important literature that may only be available in a few select libraries in the developed world. Information inequality between developing and developed world researchers can be narrowed with the availability of open access digital repositories.” Plants, seeds and orchids outward register, 26 July 1957-27 October 1959. Digitized by Singapore Botanic Gardens. www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/206359.
  56. 56. SUPPORTING… Research Dr. Nura Abdul Karim “Taxonomy, systematic biology and conservation are more dependent on historic literature than many other fields of science. Access to a wider array of literature through BHL can have a profound and positive impact on biodiversity in the region as research can be more wide ranging, accurate and speedy and the data vital in many fields of science and conservation can be published in a much shorter timeframe.” Plants and seeds inward register, 16 January 1920-28 August 1926. Digitized by Singapore Botanic Gardens. www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/206637.
  57. 57. SUPPORTING… Library Impact Dr. Nura Abdul Karim “Over time, the SBG Library has amassed a good collection of rare and scholarly printed literature, housed in a climate-controlled archive room, which are accessible to, and utilised by, only a handful of privileged in-house researchers. Recently, SBG Library has embarked on a programme of restoring and digitising the collections. Access via BHL will allow far greater access to academics, researchers and students, and possibly even to the global public, than was ever possible before.”List of Books in Library. 1903-1909. Digitized by Singapore Botanic Gardens. www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/206736.
  58. 58. SUPPORTING SCIENCE Dr. Varad B. Giri “BHL is doing a wonderful service for researchers like me, who work with limited resources in developing countries like India. For our recent paper dealing with a 180 year old taxonomic mystery, we needed to refer to many historical articles. Without the help of BHL, this would have taken more time or been very difficult.” POST DOCTORAL FELLOW | National Centre for Biological Sciences (Bangalore, India)
  59. 59. SUPPORTING… Science Hardwicke's bloodsucker. Previously classified as Brachysaura minor. By researching the taxonomic history of this species using BHL, in combination with molecular and morphological data, Dr. Giri and his coauthors provided a new name (Calotes minor) and placement for this species in a 2015 Vertebrate Zoology paper. Published Online at: www.senckenberg.de /vertebrate-zoology Calotes minor. Photo credit: Varad Giri
  60. 60. SUPPORTING… Science “For a taxonomist like me, BHL is an amazing resource. BHL has had a big, positive impact on my research by putting all of the historical literature online where one can access it with ease. I strongly feel that if BHL would not have been available, I would not have performed good taxonomic work with such ease due to a lack of historical literature.”The original description of Calotes minor. Dr. Giri downloaded this paper using BHL! The Zoological Journal. v. 3 (1827-1828). www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/27485744. Digitized by Smithsonian Libraries. Dr. Varad B. Giri
  61. 61. SUPPORTING HISTORY OF SCIENCE RESEARCH Dr. Paul D. Brinkman “BHL is a wonderful resource. I use a lot of old and obscure resources in my line of work, and BHL makes getting access to these sources a lot easier.” HEAD OF THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE RESEARCH LAB | North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
  62. 62. SUPPORTING… History of Science The Question: When did Charles Darwin become a "convinced transmutationist”? During, or after, the Beagle voyage? Forming an hypothesis requires access to Darwin’s publications and the books in his library. BHL provided these. In a 2010 paper published in Journal of the History of Biology, Dr. Brinkman argues that Darwin’s own Beagle journals support the early conversion hypothesis. For example, Darwin discusses similarities between some of the fossils he was collecting and extant species - notably Glyptodontinae fossils and living armadillos. Glyptodontinae are an extinct subfamily of large, heavily armored armadillos. Description d'un nouveau genre d'édenté fossile renfermant plusieurs espèces voisines du glyptodon. Digitized by Harvard University, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Ernst Mayr Library. www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/181758.
  63. 63. SUPPORTING… History of Science "I probably use old museum annual reports more than any other single resource on BHL. A lot of these old reports have been relegated to offsite storage at many university libraries, which can sometimes mean long delays. BHL, however, provides them at the click of a button!" Dr. Paul D. Brinkman Darwin's rhea (Rhea pennata). The existence of two distinct rhea species, coexisting in the same habitat, impacted Darwin’s ideas on the mutability of species. The zoology of the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle. Pt. 3 (Birds) (1841). Digitized by MBLWHOI Library. www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/14062633
  64. 64. SUPPORTING EDUCATION Dr. Tracey Hunter-Doniger “Before photography, scientists used drawings to record what they saw. Scientists also had to be artists. These lesson plans are an opportunity for students to see how art and science are connected.” ASSISTANT PROFESSOR | College of Charleston
  65. 65. Link to Catesby volumes in BHL and the Catesby lesson plans available to teachers through PBS Learning Media! SUPPORTING… Education Example of the 3rd and 5th grade Catesby lesson, whereby students "zoom" in on details in the specimen being observed. Example by Dr. Tracey Hunter- Doniger. The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands.1st ed. 1729-1747. Digitized by Smithsonian Libraries. www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/62015
  66. 66. SUPPORTING… Education “Having access to this literature through BHL is a treasure. Being able to show the students the prints of the original artworks and use them to explain that these represent what Catesby saw and what he wanted to convey speaks volumes to the students.” The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands.1st ed. 1729-1747. Digitized by Smithsonian Libraries. www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/62015 Dr. Tracey Hunter-Doniger
  67. 67. SUPPORTING ART Emily Williams “The Biodiversity Heritage Library is an amazing resource for visual artists! Any artist interested in learning about natural history and science would consider these rare resources invaluable.” GLASS ARTIST & ADJUNCT ART PROFESSOR | Troy University
  68. 68. SUPPORTING… Art “This book features some very detailed illustrations on Crinoids. The ability to visually understand how a Crinoid is structured becomes part of my unique creative process. Discovering an exciting branching pattern or joint segmentation may inspire an entire sculpture.” Emily Williams Manuel D’actinologie ou de Zoophytologie. 1850. Harvard University, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Ernst Mayr Library. www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/9321291. Glass Seaweed sculpture by Emily Williams, 2014. Created using borosilicate glass and a glass hand-torch.
  69. 69. SUPPORTING… Art “Finding detailed illustrations of certain ocean life forms can be very difficult and time-consuming. Through the BHL website I can input various search terms to access an abundance of research materials. I am most drawn to the digitized books from the 19th century containing beautiful, detailed illustrations. Being a visual artist I find the high-resolution images invaluable. This allows me to enlarge and examine intricate illustrations as if using a microscope!” Emily WilliamsEmily Williams creating Glass Seaweed sculpture in her Columbus, Georgia studio.
  70. 70. SUPPORTING TAXONOMY Dr. Barna Páll-Gergely “Simply speaking we need three main things for a taxonomy: (1) type specimens of known species deposited in museums, (2) previously not examined material, and (3) literature. BHL provided nearly all the literature we needed.” BIOLOGIST | Department of Biology, Shinshu University (Japan)
  71. 71. SUPPORTING TAXONOMY Vargapupa biheli “We may think it is natural to have old literature online, but if we didn't, we would have serious trouble finding the relevant publications. Therefore I thought BHL definitely deserves a new species named after it for the help it provided.” DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3937.1.1 Dr. Barna Páll-Gergely
  72. 72. VIEW MORE BHL USER STORIES ON OUR BLOG http://bit.do/BHLUserPosts
  73. 73. Thank You! Questions? Martin R. Kalfatovic (KalfatovicM@si.edu) Grace Costantino (CostantinoG@si.edu) Stay Connected with BHL! Follow @BioDivLibrary on social media Join our Mailing List: library.si.edu/bhl-newsletter-signup

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