First ICEDIG Round Table Meeting

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The first of seven Roundtable meetings hosted within the ICEDIG project was held on Monday, 11 June 2018 at the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre. Organiser Luc Willemse invited 20 total guests comprised of ICEDIG partners and external experts to discuss digitisation of scientific collections in general and specifications of a potential collection digitisation dashboard in partciular. 

The Roundtable started with a general introduction presented by curator of entomological collections Luc Willemse (Naturalis) and was followed by a discussion with a particular focus on the importance of dashboards to identify which collections have been already digitised and which still need to be digitised. Elspeth Haston (RBGE) explained what is currently happening regarding internal dashboarding and Wouter Addink (Naturalis) elaborated on how different dashboards will be integrated within the DiSSCo project.

To allow for more detailed discussions, two sub-groups were created: One to focus on the end users and a selection of parameters, and a second one to discuss technical aspects and unification of the data.

In the first subgroup, end users and their user stories were identified and listed. These were supplemented with data elements (parameters) and displayed in a panel for each user story. A next step will be to further identify which data elements are associated with each user story and whether user stories can be grouped based on the data elements. Together this will provide the basis for different kinds of visualisations, including a final dashboard, as indicated by the conceptual model on collection digitisation visualisations.

In the second subgroup, some technical aspects of the collections digitisation dashboard and how to bring together the data were discussed. The main conclusion was that it is essential to define a standard for the description of the collections as a whole, since this currently only exists for data on the specimen level. This is a requirement so all data can be unified and presented in a harmonised manner within the dashboard. Also, collection level data is already gathered in several ways, including the annual reports of institutes, so these efforts could be combined to avoid duplication.

The round table ended with a discussion that combined the results of the two individual discussions and highlighted the importance to maintain an active exchange with other initiatives regarding the creation of collection description standards and collection digitisation dashboards.

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