About BCI

The Biodiversity Collections Index (BCI) is a community-driven, open-access project initiated by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) through a Memorandum of Cooperation signed in December, 2007. It was conceived as a response to the work on Globally Unique Identifiers and Natural Collections Descriptions within TDWG during 2007/8.

The objective of the MoC is to develop infrastructure that can be used by the natural history and collections community worldwide, freely and openly, to contribute towards discovery, access and use of biodiversity collections.

GBIF, TDWG and RBGE contributed towards launch of the project initially for a period of one year. RBGE has provided the institutional support for the project during this initial phase and has committed to host the current site until at least 2010. The three founding organizations are now approaching potential sponsors and supporters to ensure a sustained future for the BCI project. Further support has been offered as part of Synthesys II and a fourth major institution is looking to make an in-kind contribution of resources.

The administrative contact for the project is:

Dr Roger Hyam
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh,
20A Inverleith Row,
Edinburgh, EH3 5LR, Scotland UK.
Email admin@BiodiversityCollectionsIndex.org.

The points of contact within the founding organisations are:

  • Global Biodiversity Information Facility Samy Gaiji (sgaiji (at) gbif.org) Head of Informatic, Vishwas Chavan (vchavan (at) gbif.org), Senior Program Officer, DIGIT, Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). Access to accurate metadata regarding biodiversity collections is essential for GBIF in assessing the task of integrating data on specimens held in the world's natural history collections, and in providing tools to simplify the discovery and interpretation of these data.
  • Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Prof. Mary Gibby, Director, Research, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). The RBGE is an internationally renowned centre of excellence in plant biodiversity research and biodiversity informatics. BCI is an opportunity for RBGE to share this expertise with the wider community.
  • Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) Donald Hobern (Donald.Hobern (at) csiro.au) Chair, Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG). TDWG is an international not-for-profit group that develops standards and protocols for sharing biodiversity data. TDWG includes the NCD Interest Group which has been active in developing standards for the description of all types of collections of natural history material, including specimens, original artwork, photographs, archives and published material. BCI is a natural extension of this work.
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