The improvements to NH virtual collections as a result of improved digitisation methods will, over time, change the face of Access and reduce the need for lengthy physical visits. NH institutions will increasingly be able to send digital surrogates that are of excellent research quality. This new form of access will be of benefit not only to the European research community but also to researchers in Third Countries who wish to undertake collaborative research with European scientists using collections based in Europe.
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In 2008, the EU-funded EDIT project held a symposium on future trends in taxonomy for the 21st century. This will be used as a baseline document and workshop will be held on the sustainability of NH collections. This will result in a roadmap for European NH institutions to progress in a unified manner to meet the changing demands of research. The roadmap will be passed to CETAF for continued implementation.
Improve access to virtual and new physical collections by making all data outputs freely available and open access. For peer-to-peer use the key portal for specimen data will be GBIF. For a wider audience including the public and media the newly accessible data will be made available on established open access outlets, e.g. Europeana.
Promote the outputs of SYNTHESYS3 both within and outside of Europe, including:
Promotion of CSAT (NA2, task 3.1) internationally to allow institutions in Third Countries to assess the status of their CM and provide information on where they need to adopt better standards.
The crowdsourcing website (JRA, task 2.2) will be promoted to appropriate European stakeholders (Task 1.4).
Questions will be added to the CSAT to enable institutions to assess the management of their virtual and new physical collections. SYNTHESYS3 will support institutions that are shown not to be managing these new collections suitably, so that they can improve and increase their accessibility.
Operation and promotion of CSAT (developed in SYNTHESYS2). Results fed back to institutions so that they can prioritise and implement changes to improve collections accessibility. Results will be used to identify key problem areas in CM and information passed on to the CPB for action via EU-CoM.
Work with Biological Resource Centres and ESBB to establish a network of DNA and tissue banks in Europe. Advice will be sought from seed and germplasm banks who have already overcome some of the potential issues for their specific group of organisms. The aims of this network will be to:
1) Enable easy access and exchange of DNA, RNA, and tissue samples
2) Coordinate the use of protocols to improve the storage of and access to collections (with Task 1.1)
3) Extend the international participation in the DNA Bank Network