eMonocot portal launched
A new portal for eMonocot provides a gateway through which to search and access this online biodiversity resource for monocot plants.
07 Nov 2012
The eMonocot portal.
What is eMonocot?
eMonocot is an authoritative online biodiversity information resource for monocotyledons, which include grasses, orchids, sedges, palms, lilies and yams, and which represent 20% of flowering plants. Aimed primarily at biodiversity and environmental scientists, but available to all, eMonocot is a distributed system of specialised resources, some of which (the eMonocot scratchpads) have been created during the project, whilst others (The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Palmweb, GrassBase, and Cate-Araceae) comprise pre-existing content.
The new portal
The eMonocot portal aggregates all of these distributed data in a single place providing a powerful and intuitive way to access and search information across monocot families. The portal became publically available at the beginning of October 2012 and already provides taxon pages for the ca 70,000 species accepted by the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, displaying nomenclature, synonymy, distribution maps and references with additional descriptive content available for 16% of these taxa. The portal also provides identification tools delivering interactive multi-access keys and image galleries. Further content, functionality and improvements will be continually added over the next 12 months.
Linking monocot taxonomists
Compiling taxonomic information is a huge task that relies on specialist knowledge. Therefore, in addition to the new content being gathered by dedicated project staff, eMonocot links together monocot taxonomists by providing support and tools to enable communities to manage their taxonomic data online and in doing so contribute to eMonocot. Scratchpad training workshops have already been held in Chicago, Edinburgh and Cape Town with three future workshops planned in Brazil and the UK. Global participation is essential in developing and sustaining both the dataset and the expert taxonomic communities that generate and enhance it.
If you would like to get involved with the eMonocot project either by providing feedback on the portal or by joining a scratchpad community then please contact Paul Wilkin.
The project is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), via a consortium grant to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Oxford University and the Natural History Museum.
Item from Sarah Phillips (eMonocot Project Manager, RBG Kew)
Kew Scientist, issue 42
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