Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Data sharing: tell us what you think

Paul Smith recording in the Outer Hebrides;
Paul chairs BSBI Records & Research
Committee
Image: L. Marsh
Quentin Groom has been in touch about data sharing and he wants to hear your opinions.

Quentin said "Now that biological records are digital, there are all sorts of advantages for the presentation, exchange and analysis of data. Digitisation has allowed us to collect more and better quality data at finer resolutions. 

"Many different groups of people want to use our observations, from people writing books on plants to people researching the disappearance of bees from the countryside. Yet it is not always easy to balance the demands for data with the need for data collectors to get recognition for their contribution.

"In April I will give a talk on data management at the conference of the National Forum for Biological Recording. I’d like to be able to present some of the opinions of botanical recorders on data sharing and what they want their records used for. For this reason, I’ve written a short questionnaire related to some of the issues. You can find it here

Paul and Oli Pescott examining plants  in the Outer Hebrides;
Oli also sits on Records & Research Committee
Image: L. Marsh
"Please make sure that your opinion is counted and thank you to all those who complete the questionnaire. When I have sufficient responses, I’ll post a summary of the results, so that even if you’re not attending the conference you can still see what people thought".

As well as contributing to Quentin's survey, you can read his paper here on how herbarium records can be used to reveal a network of historic botanists who were exchanging specimens between 1856 and 1932.