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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section

Ballard, H. E. [1].

Considerations and Practical Tips for Implementing Databasing/Imaging Projects at Smaller Herbaria.

While many institutions with large and medium-sized herbarium collections (>500,000 specimens) can readily secure funding for, have access to infrastructural and personnel support for, and can acquire proprietary software and system support to implement databasing and imaging projects, small herbaria (< 100,000 specimens) have special challenges of adequate time, resources and monies for such projects. In establishing the Ohio University database project and spearheading the Southeastern Ohio Herbarium Network involving OU, Youngstown State University, Muskingum University and Marietta College, and assisting other smaller herbaria in the Midwest, we have navigated key issues and developed a simple approach to initiate databasing and imaging projects. To share our experience with specific suggestions, I first discuss general considerations respecting software, focusing on freeware; personnel and hardware needs; issues of maximal efficiency and minimal redundancy and error; and important concerns of clean data, conventions of data and data sharing, and possibilities for regional network-level interoperability. I will provide practical tips for starting or redirecting database/imaging projects particularly applicable to smaller herbaria with highly limited time, personnel and fiscal resources and a step-by-step guide for the implementation process. I also present various forms for tracking tasks applied to specimens, and documentation for training of personnel. I will demonstrate the successful end-product of collaborative databasing projects among smaller herbaria in a regional context by demonstrating the functionality of the online linked databases of the Southeastern Ohio Herbarium Database Network.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Ohio University, Dept. of Environmental & Plant Biology, and Molecular & Cellular Biology Program, 317 Porter Hall, Athens, Ohio, 45701, USA

Herbarium Collections

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 17
Location: 551A/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 3:15 PM
Number: 17007
Abstract ID:386

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