Synthesis Meeting Updates

August 24, 2011

BioSynC has hosted thirty-six synthesis meetings over the past three-and-a-half years with topics ranging from tree visualization, to early land plants, to hymenoptera ontologies. These meetings have promoted the synthesis of innovative scientific information and encouraged scientists and broader audiences to contribute to the knowledge-base of the Encyclopedia of Life.

Recent highlights from synthesis meeting include:

  • The June 2011 Cybertaxonomy meeting targeted both already published taxonomic literature and to-be-published taxonomic articles in order to extract taxonomic content (e.g., species descriptions and re-descriptions, diagnoses, and material examined) and automatically provide it to the EOL. Major accomplishments are the tighter integration of initiatives like Plazi, Pensoft Publisher and the EOL. Several journal editors attended the meeting that will now implement some of the cybertaxonomic tools developed primarily by Plazi and Pensoft in order to provide XML-based output of taxonomic content automatically to the EOL. For example, the largest zoological taxonomic journal Zootaxa, which has previously not provided any content to cybertaxonomic databases, will make relatively small adjustments to its publishing workflow that will generate content for the EOL in the future. A manuscript describing the visions for the publication of cybertaxonomic articles in diverse journals is currently being written by the participants.
  • Participants from the May 2010 Lichens synthesis meeting recently published a 127-page monograph in the journal Phytotaxa containing 100 new species of lichenized fungi. Content from the publication is being shared with EOL via the e-lichens data partnership established at the meeting.
  • Participants from the June 2008 Decapods synthesis meeting recently published a special supplement to the journal Raffles Bulletin of Zoology containing seven articles on decapod crustaceans. The supplement included important revisions, global checklists, and listing of all valid species for several infraorders. Data from the meeting participant publications are now being shared with EOL via WoRMS.

Visit the Synthesis Meeting News page for more updates from past meetings.