Biological specimens in research collections provide the most important baseline information for systematic research. Traditionally, they are annotated by experts in written form, which remains directly associated with the specimens. These annotations, defined as data added at a later
stage to the original data, provide an important quality control mechanism. They improve the value of herbarium specimens and are identification trails documenting the development of taxonomic concepts over time. With specimen data increasingly becoming accessible via the Internet, a general
online annotation system that ensures that the traditional data sharing and documentation of specimen data is continued after the information is mobilised through digitisation, is currently missing. We lay out the prerequisites for such an annotation system including data standards, a data
repository, system access, and user roles. We also introduce an exemplar solution developed in the DFG-funded AnnoSys project. AnnoSys is being implemented using the example of collection and observation data in the botanical domain as provided by the GBIF/BioCASe networks. It provides a user-friendly
interface to allow researchers to produce and discover annotations. If a record has been annotated, both the annotation and the original record will be stored in a repository, linked via a persistent identifier, and will be accessible through the AnnoSys interfaces. Collection holders and
scientists specifically interested in a subset of data will be informed about annotations in which they have expressed interest. We discuss AnnoSys in relation to the FilteredPush project, which pursues the same goal in facilitating and communicating online annotations, but which takes a different
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Document Type: Research Article
Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Wm. Saunders Building, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C6, Canada
Harvard University Herbaria, 22 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 01238, U.S.A.
Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany;, Email: [email protected]
Publication date: 20 December 2013
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