Essay

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Assignment (maximum word count 1000)
1. summarise the FRBR(FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, 1998), CCO(Cataloging Cultural Objects)) and VRA Core(VRA Core) standards – maybe create a mind map or a table that compares the three standards.
2. (a)Present your thesauri exploration maybe as a mind map or simply ordered notes.
(b) Obviously, creating a robust and comprehensive thesaurus is an immense undertaking. Thesauri construction is a MA module in some universities. However, create a very small and focused thesaurus on some topic, maybe related to your hobby, interest or work. For example, your CD or DVD collection, the herbs in your kitchen cupboard, motor car types …

3.Our use case this week is the Natural History Museum and its large
collection of specimens. Watch curator Jonathon Ablett explains the importance of taxonomy:
(a) Which applications does he mention?

(b) We are now taking a closer look at the collections of the Natural History Museum. Please be aware that it is very easy to get lost within this task, so we suggest that you spend not much more than 30 minutes. I hope you are as excited as I was when I discovered the wealth of information that can be accessed online.

 

 

• You can start by exploring the collection of the Natural History Museum.
• Much of their cataloguing data can be explored, searched, and downloaded online for further analysis at http://data.nhm.ac.uk/ which is a repository for datasets.

• Among others, they use tags to describe their datasets. So you can easily find all datasets related to taxonomy.

• Among them there is a dataset about species in the UK, the UK Species Inventory where we can have a look at a specific species.

• We can also access the metadata of the Natural History Museum’s collection.

• Explore this rich dataset and try to identify principles of information organisation that are embodied within it.

• Try to find a species you know, for instance the honey bee, and look at its classification. Which class hierarchy can you identify?

• With the funnel icons at the right side you can filter species at different levels of the taxonomy. Check the number of records for each different level. (For my example, I found 11 records for subgenus Apis and 96 records for genus Apis. On the family level, I found 369 records for Apidae, which already includes mosquitos.)

The GBIF Backbone Taxonomy:
• Have a look at the tabs above the name of your record. The data can be represented in different views: Normal view, Darwin core view, and GBIF view.

• On the GBIF view you find the species’ taxonomic classification according to the GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. In my example this is Animalia > Arthropoda > Insecta > Hymenoptera > Apidae > Apis.

• Compare the classification in the GBIF Backbone Taxonomy to the one shown in the Normal view. Which differences do you observe?

• You can click on each level of the classification to explore data in GBIF. For instance, you could start with the kingdom “Animalia”: http://www.gbif.org/species/1.

• On the GBIF site you find links to other databases, for instance, to the Encyclopedia of Life where you find more information (e.g., about the Archaea kingdom).

• In GBIF, the classes of the taxonomy are enumerated and can be accessed via URLs of the form http://www.gbif.org/species/k, where k is an integer. We have already seen that the kingdom “Animalia” has the id 1. Therefore, you can access it at http://www.gbif.org/species/1.

• Explore the top level of the taxonomy by manually modifying the URL. Which kingdoms does GBIF contain?

• What does the category with id “0” represent?
Reflect upon your exploration of this collection and illustrate it with some images or data you have found.

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