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Successful WoRMS Steering Committee meeting on June 8th – highlights

Added on 2015-06-26 12:00:33 by Vandepitte, Leen
The WoRMS Steering Committee held its meeting on June 8th – World Oceans Day! – at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) in Crete.
During the meeting, several items related to and relevant for WoRMS were discussed. Following debate,  some important decisions were made, and recommendations formulated.

Some key-decisions:
  • The SC approved to make the “environment flag” mandatory. Going forward, it will be necessary to check (at least) one environment box for each newly accepted species name that gets added to WoRMS. In addition, efforts will be made to capture this information for the relatively few species already in WoRMS for which this information is lacking.
     
  • The SC want to highlight the importance of capturing the original references for species descriptions.
     
  • The SC discussed the still existing gaps in the coverage of taxa and are still looking for editors for certain taxa. A general call will be launched among the existing editor-pool, asking for suggestions of new editors that could be approached.
     
  • The SC agreed to have a short communication early 2016. This release will give statistics for 2015 and highlight a few interesting new species described during 2015.
     
  • In collaboration with the European EMODnet Biology project, WoRMS is piloting a programme to capture biological traits for marine species and lengthy discussions were held on how to manage and present the trait data. It was agreed that ‘traits’ will be a new menu-item on the website, giving access to a trait-based search. In addition, a thematic portal will focus in more depth on all the trait-related initiatives and possibilities. Possible strategies for capturing and validating trait data are still under discussion, because we know that in many cases existing taxonomic editors will be unable to take on this extra task. We hope to expand the number of thematic editors to contribute to this aspect of WoRMS.
     
  • An expanded and updated guide for editors is currently being prepared. This will bring together a lot of useful information for editors, including new tools and clear guidelines on already existing tools.
     
The SC also aims to meet more often, namely twice a year; one physically and once virtually. This will allow an even better follow-up of running tasks and possible questions and issues that may arise.

The organisation of this meeting was supported by LifeWatch, the E-Science Euroepan Infrastructure for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research.

Link: http://www.marinespecies.org/docs/WoRMS_SC_Report_Crete_2015-06-08.pdf



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