Thursday, October 28, 2010

You Too Can Participate in International Botanical Congress 2011

I am holding a symposium at next year's International Botanical Congress in Melbourne, Australia, entitled "Informatics Tools for the Semantic Enhancement of Taxonomic Literature"

The abstract for the symposium is included here:
In recent years the landscape has dramatically changed regarding the availability of digital taxonomic literature, both contemporary publications as well as legacy texts. Projects like the Biodiversity Heritage Library and Plazi, among others, have digitized and made available a wealth of scientific texts that support the online review of protologues and species descriptions. While this advent has been exceptionally useful for scholars and has undoubtedly expedited the taxonomic process, making this literature available in digital form opens the possibility for new secondary analyses that are impossible to accomplish with traditional printed texts.

Scholars working in natural language processing, semantic markup, and other efforts within biodiversity informatics are developing new tools for the use of these digitized materials beyond the traditional human-paper interaction. These new human-machine and machine-machine interactions are facilitated by emerging software tools that enhance the traditional scientific publication, turning these texts into rich, interactive datasets that can be incorporated into other analyses.

This seminar will explore the motivation behind the digitization of historic taxonomic literature as well as the contemporary publication of new treatments and texts, and how those texts can be enhanced by these new informatics tools. Panelists will review the progress made through both legacy digitization as well as contemporary publication, and special focus will be given to scholars who are currently building the informatics tools that help provide fine-grained, semantic description of traditional taxonomic texts. Using these novel algorithms and applications, presenters will detail how taxonomic publications can be enhanced through semantic description and how these enriched texts can expedite the taxonomic process and facilitate the open sharing of organismal data to a global audience of scholars and students.
Abstract submission is open through 31 October 2010 at: