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Free Content Type specimens online: What is available, what is not, and how to proceed; Reflections based on an analysis of the images of type specimens of southern African Polygala (Polygalaceae) accessible on the worldwide web

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The results of a gap analysis of the availability of internet-hosted images of the types of names of Polygala L. (Polygalaceae) in southern Africa accessible at JSTOR Global Plants (JGP) and on other sites in the worldwide web, are presented. The type information for names associated with this genus was recorded and analyzed with a view to suggest ways in which JGP and other internet resources that host specimen images might further expand and enrich their e-holdings, and to identify which non-partner institutions should be approached to collaborate in the Global Plants Initiative (GPI), the most successful specimen imaging thrust ever. Our analysis shows that images of 52% of the types of southern African Polygala names (208 names assessed) are accessible at JGP. Of these images, 74% have incorrect metadata or no information on what sort of type it depicts. For 25% of the accepted taxa of Polygala, no images of the types of their names are available online. This gap can mostly be filled by GPI partners who hold the majority of the types not yet imaged, most of which are likely not in type folders or do not carry annotations indicating their type status. JGP would significantly benefit from directly contracting taxonomic services to improve the quality of its data on types, thus enabling information to be fed back to partner institutions.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Centre for Functional Ecology, Departamento de Ciências da Vida, Universidade de Coimbra, 3001-455 Coimbra, Portugal; Office of the Chief Director: Biosystematics Research & Biodiversity Collections, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Private Bag X101, Pretoria, 0001 South Africa; H.G.W.J. Schweickerdt Herbarium, Department of Plant Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002 South Africa 2: Centre for Functional Ecology, Departamento de Ciências da Vida, Universidade de Coimbra, 3001-455 Coimbra, Portugal; Department of Botany, P.O. Box 77000, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, 6031 South Africa

Publication date: 2013-08-21

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