Creating and Refining Controlled Vocabularies in Arctos

Workshop Time: 13.30 – 17.00
Location: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Attendance Fee: £45 (note: fee was required by SPNHC – no funds will go to Arctos!)

Teresa Mayfield-Meyer, Carla Cicero, and Mariel Campbell

Arctos is driven by a community of museum professionals who recognize the need for standardized terms to facilitate the use of biodiversity data, and who collaboratively develop standardized vocabularies for specimen-based biodiversity data. Workshop attendees will work together to develop definitions for undefined terms in Arctos controlled vocabularies, refine existing vocabularies based upon both Arctos community requests and discussion, and develop new terms for requests submitted by the Arctos community. Vocabularies created and refined during the workshop will improve Arctos, and may be submitted to the appropriate TDWG committee as examples of controlled vocabularies in use by over 150 collections.

Arctos (arctosdb.org) is an affordable, collaborative collection management solution with a robust research infrastructure that integrates biological, earth science, and cultural data as well as emerging data types such as environmental DNA and microbiomes. As such, it is a leader in providing museums with community-driven solutions to managing and improving collections data and developing workflows for data cleaning and publication. Furthermore, its uniquely collaborative platform engages a broad community of users to drive development and innovation, and to promote data exploration and interdisciplinary research. Arctos conforms to DarwinCore standards for fields that allow sharing data, but such standards do not control the content of those fields. To remedy this, one of Arctos’ primary strengths is in the use of controlled vocabularies and authorities to create standardized ways of entering, searching, and relating data within or between collections. Such controls are used to manage agents, geography, parts, preservation methods, relationships (e.g., host-parasite), identifications, trait attributes, and transactions, among other types of data. This workshop is open to all current Arctos users as well as anyone interested in creating robust standardized vocabularies for biodiversity data. We will review how Arctos uses controlled vocabularies, and why such controls are critical for data discovery. Attendees will develop definitions for undefined terms currently used in Arctos controlled vocabularies, develop new terms for requests submitted by the Arctos community, and refine vocabularies currently in use based upon both Arctos community requests and discussion during the workshop. Vocabularies created and refined during the workshop will improve Arctos, and will be submitted to the appropriate TDWG committee as examples of controlled vocabularies currently in use by over 150 collections.

 

 

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