The Projeto Flora Amazônica field books: An excellent resource for improving data input efficiency

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The Projeto Flora Amaznica field books: An excellent resource for improving data input efficiency. D. Shannon Asencio The William and Linda Steere Herbarium The New York Botanical Garden. The William and Lynda Steere Herbarium. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Projeto Flora Amaznica field books: An excellent resource for improving data input efficiencyD. Shannon AsencioThe William and Linda Steere Herbarium The New York Botanical Garden

The William and Lynda Steere HerbariumSteere Herbarium (NY) is among the four largest in the world (ca. 7 million specimens); largest in the western hemisphereAll plants groups represented, as well as fungi and lichensEmphasis on New World flora, with particular strength in Brazilian specimens

Collections digitization at NYStarted 17 years agoKE EMu (Electronic Museum) softwareSystem of nested modulesGood choice for integrating data previously generated in NYpcUsed for maintaining Index Herbariorum, a global directory of public herbaria and associated staffAmerican Botanical Literature searchable databaseCurator research web pages

Projeto Flora AmaznicaBi-national effort between Brazil and U.S.Initiated in January 1976First expedition took place late 197725 expeditionsFieldwork completed 1987

Prance et al., 1984Programa FloraFour principal objectives:To produce as complete an inventory as possible of the plant resources of BrazilTo make the data gathered available in an easily accessible format so that it can be used for the social and economic benefit of humansTo establish regional research centers throughout Brazil capable of carrying out the inventory on a local basis, in preparation for studies on economic uses of plants, ecological challenges, and environmental conservationTo encourage the education and training of Brazilian botanists, particularly in plant systematics and data management, through graduate courses and training programs

Prance et al., 1984Amazon Digitization ProjectStarted in January 2008Goal: to catalogue and image all NY specimens from the Brazilian AmazonInitial approach: skeletal recordsLater approach: complete geographical dataData repatriation: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amaznia (INPA)

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Methods for improving rapid data entryImportation of duplicate specimen data from other institutions

Querying nearby collection data

Mass collection data input using collector field books

Field books in the archives of NY

Field books sample layout

Plant familyPlant descriptionCollection localityNo. of duplicatesDeterminationCollection no.Collection dateHabitatCollection data input

The product

ResultsA total of 53,920 specimen collection events created using field booksAverage of 641 collection records created each day using this method Productivity as high as 1,557 records created in a single dayCataloguing rates up ca. 50%Caution!Older field books can be difficult to read and interpretCollection numbers are not necessarily unique identifiersSeparate data sources (e.g. field books vs. labels): possible inconsistenciesData must be validated!ConclusionsIt is worth exploring a variety of data sources, especially when undertaking large-scale cataloguing projects Using data gathered in the field (i.e. field books) is an effective method for improving the work flow of databasing projectsNaturally grouped data, such as field book entries, are easy to enter collectively and can provide comparable data quality to specimen labelsThese advantages to data entry can be applied to any type of specimen cataloguing, not just botanical cataloguingAcknowledgementsNational Science Foundation

Barbara Thiers, Michael Bevans, Anthony Kirchgessner, Melissa Tulig, Benito Santos, Nicole Tarnowsky, Stephen Gottschalk, Benjamin Saracco, and several volunteers

Visit the Virtual Herbarium: http://sciweb.nybg.org/science2/vii2.asp