Librarian travels: Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)

I was privileged to attend and present as part of a symposium at the Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) meeting October 28-November 1, 2013. The theme for 2013 was “Virtual Communities for Biodiversity Science”, an apt theme for the global virtual Biodiversity Heritage Library.  The venue was beautiful Florence, Italy and the weather was warm.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Six members of the Global BHL community participated in the symposium, “Crafting the Future of a Global Biodiversity Heritage Library for Diverse Communities’ Needs“.  My contribution to the symposium was a review of feedback the BHL has received through surveys, interviews and messages, looking for common threads and what has been resolved.The most common thread throughout the years and echoed by the 50 or so audience members is:  “Scan more!!”.

Left to right: Martin Kalfatovic, Connie Rinaldo, Trish Rose-Sandler,Lucy Waruingi, William Ulate, Jiri Frank

TDWG is a long and information-packed meeting that incorporates many topics of interest to the Biodiversity Heritage Library and librarians.  Metadata, vocabularies for taxonomy, interoperability and linked open data are common themes at TDWG  to which librarians, particularly those engaged in biological information,  can relate.  I particularly enjoyed the poster sessions.  There were 31 posters and I will highlight a few in this post.

BHL partners such as ViBRANT, OpenUp, BioStor, and Zookeys and others were represented at TDWG ensuring lively discussions.  The poster “Bibliography of Life: Comprehensive services for biodiversity bibliographic references” ( addressed de-duplicating and parsing the components of references from a variety of sources to improve and expand literature searching.  Other posters highlighted object digitization and the TDWG Audubon Core ( standard.  The Naturalis Biodiversity Center reviewed their work digitizing collection objects, including videos, ( using the Audubon Core standard for metadata.  Another poster from Belgian institutions, Agora 3D Evaluating the Digitisation of Scientific Collections, reviewed scanning technology and techniques for biological specimens to develop a set of standards and protocols for museums (  Other posters highlighted taxonomic information such as “From Dendroeca blackburniae to Dendrceca blackburniae:  what’s in a name” citing the need for clean, correct scientific names to support names-based architecture and ” ComTax: Community-driven Curation for Taxonomic Databases”, a project designed to support manual correction and verification of name data ( The TDWG meeting has much to offer archivists and librarians looking for the biological perspective on metadata and curation.  For the curious, you can find the uploaded presentations at the TDWG site.

~Connie Rinaldo



  1. do pobrania

    January 24, 2014 @ 5:04 pm


    When I originally commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I receive four emails with the exact same comment. Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

  2. ernstmayrlibrary

    January 24, 2014 @ 5:13 pm


    Hmmm, I am not aware of how I can change that for you. Or even that there was a notify button. I will take a look but it might take you going back into comments and de-selecting the notify. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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