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Conference Wide

Cui, Hong [1], Reznicek, Anton [2].

Authors in the Driver’s Seat: Evaluating Phenotype Data Authoring Tools.

To make use of phenotype data published in a “legacy” format (e.g., taxonomic/character descriptions) in modern computation, highly trained postdoc scientists (or curators) are employed to convert them (semi-)manually to a computable format. This costly process is difficult to scale up. By one estimate, curating one character from one year’s worth of English biomedical journal publications alone would take a full-time postdoc over 30 years to complete. This process also suffers from another drawback: curators may not be able to translate the original characters accurately and consistently, due to the differences in individual’s systematics backgrounds and in terminology usage in the descriptions. It has been reported that inter-curator variations can be as large as 40% when translating the same set of character descriptions authored by others. The “Authors in the Driver’s Seat” project, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is investigating a transformative approach to address the legacy format problem. We are developing and evaluating software solutions to enable authors of biodiversity works to directly produce computable data at the time of publication, eliminating the need for subsequent post-publication data conversion. We invite systematists, especially, sedges experts, who have authored or will author a taxonomic/character description to evaluate the software prototypes we have developed last year and help shape the future of phenotypic data production and use. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to (and evaluate) the set of web-based software prototypes, including a Measurement Recorder for scientists to accurately define and record numeric measurements (e.g., beak length); an Add2Ontology user interface for scientists to add terms they prefer to use to a community-curated ontology; and a Description Editor that checks the terminology usages in a character/taxonomic description a scientist is composing and coverts the description to a computable format. The workshop will be facilitated by a sedge’s expert (Dr. Anton Reznicek) and a user experience specialist (Dr. Hong Cui). Software evaluation will be semi-formal, including group discussions, Q & A, and questionnaires. The workshop involves simple hands-on exercises with the software prototypes, so participants should bring their laptop with a web browser. Participants will receive a free lunch after the 2-hour workshop and a cash honorarium ($40) for completing the evaluations.

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1 - University of Arizona
2 - UNIVERSITY HERBARIUM, 3600 Varsity Drive, Ann Arbor, MI, 48108, United States

none specified

Presentation Type:
Session: W08, Authors in the Driver Seat: Evaluating Phenotypes Data Authoring Tools
Location: San Pedro 2/Starr Pass
Date: Sunday, July 28th, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM
Number: W08001
Abstract ID:65
Candidate for Awards:None

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