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Aims of the pilot project

iPlants has a development grant to develop and test the processes and procedures that would be required during production of an authoritative, global online list of plant names. Procedures are being implemented, tested, and refined in an iterative manner. The aims of this pilot phase are:

Output 1: A working prototype of the iPlants website, populated with a subset of plant name data.
  • User requirements analysis to define the demand.
  • Mock-up of a prototype website including a single authoritative name per species, its synonyms and bibliographic references, its global distribution and, wherever practical, a preliminary assessment of its conservation status, image(s) to aid identification and links to further information relevant to plant science and conservation.
Output 2: Compilation procedures
  • Design and documentation of manual compilation procedures, software tools and automated procedures to allow the collaborating institutions and individual contributors share data sets and streamline the creation of the checklist from pre-existing data.
  • Tests and feedback on the compilation, processing and data sharing mechanisms.
  • Development and demonstration of how Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques can be used to produce preliminary conservation assessments.
  • A pilot implementation of a system implementing the Distributed Generic Information Retrieval (DiGIR) system and tailored Darwin Core II data standards to support calculation of rapid conservation assessments based upon specimens from the combined collections of the participating institutions.
  • Procedural manuals describing specimen databasing, imaging and the compilation process used.
Output 3: Plan for Longer-term Project
  • Detailed requirements of the software system needed for the entire iPlants project and an agreement upon how to develop this software.
  • A proposal for the production phase of the iPlants project, informed by the lessons learned in the pilot phase.
  • Agreement on a long-term collaboration between the initial partners and other key organizations.
  • A plan for raising matching funds to ensure that the iPlants project be sustained through completion and subsequent maintenance of the checklist.
  • Development of a sound management structure and collaboration framework for the full production phase of the iPlants project.