Biodiversity informatics : organizing and linking information across the spectrum of life
Sarkar, Indra Neil
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KeywordBiodiversity informatics; Taxonomic intelligence; Taxonomic name reconciliation; Taxonomic name recognition; Federated search engines; Knowledge integration; Encyclopedia of Life
Biological knowledge can be inferred from three major levels of information: molecules, organisms, and ecologies. Bioinformatics is an established field that has made significant advances in the development of systems and techniques to organize contemporary molecular data; biodiversity informatics is an emerging discipline that strives to develop methods to organize knowledge at the organismal level extending back to the earliest dates of recorded natural history. Furthermore, while bioinformatics studies generally focus on detailed examinations of key “model” organisms, biodiversity informatics aims to develop over-arching hypotheses that span the entire tree of life. Biodiversity informatics is presented here as a discipline that unifies biological information from a range of contemporary and historical sources across the spectrum of life using organisms as the linking thread. The present review primarily focuses on the use of organism names as a universal meta-data element to link and integrate biodiversity data across a range of data sources.
This article has been accepted for publication in Briefings in Bioinformatics © 2007 The Author Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. This is a pre-print, electronic version of an article published in Briefings in Bioinformatics 8 (2007) 347-357, doi:10.1093/bib/bbm037
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