HISCOM Teleconference February 2015

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Wayne Cherry, Eleanor Crichton, Anne Fuchs, Niels Klazenga, Donna Lewis, Rebecca Pirzl (ALA rep), Ben Richardson, Alexis Tindall (FCIG rep), Alison Vaughan (Chair), Michelle Waycott, Greg Whitbread, Aaron Wilton



HISCOM roles update (Alison and Michelle)

  • HISCOM Chair

Alison is going on maternity leave in May. Donna will take over as HISCOM Chair until the next face-to-face meeting, at which time the role of Chair can be reviewed. As Donna only works two days per week, all HISCOM members will need to actively contribute to HISCOM business, and support Donna in the role.

  • HISCOM Deputy Chair

This is Michelle's last meeting as Deputy Chair, Michelle has been appointed CHAH Chair; Ian Cowie will be taking over as Deputy Chair from now on.

  • AVH User Liaison

Eleanor has agreed to take over the AVH User Liaison role. HISCOM members are encouraged to sign up to the avh@chah.org.au mailing list (http://mail.chah.org.au/mailman/listinfo/avh_chah.org.au). Aaron will be more active in responding to AVH user emails once the Australasian Virtual Herbarium is established.

(Note: it was decided via email after the meeting that Donna and Eleanor would take over the Chair and User Liaison roles from the 1st of May 2015.)

Action 1: Check if the AVH emails are reaching all intended recipients; there have been a lot of bounce notifications recently. (Greg, Niels, Aaron) (Completed)

Status of actions from 2014 annual meeting and teleconference (All)

HISCOM members are requested to follow up on any action items from meetings delegated to them.

Action 2: Provide new images for the AVH home page to Alison by Friday 13th March (include images of work inside collections, field work, herbarium specimens and living plants) (All) (Completed)
Action 3: Send request for new images to MAHC list (Alison) (Completed)


  • Three new providers have come on board since October 2014: MELU, LTB, WOLL. An AVH news item and ALA blog about LTB and WOLL will be prepared.
  • The new version of AVH should be released in the next week or two (we are just waiting on some changes to the facet labels and display defaults). It includes the new spatial query tools, and it resolves quite a few bugs with name queries.
  • We'll need to update the Help pages to reflect these changes (and also to reflect NZVH coming on board). Alison will work on this in the next few months.
  • Country is not being delivered by some herbaria, even when state or territory is known. Julia Percy-Bower will follow up on the PERTH collections, and the WOLL data will be fixed in the AVH cache.

File:missing country.jpg

HISPID Review update (Niels, Aaron, Ben, Anne)

The HISPID Review team made good progress at the workshop in Melbourne from February 16–18. They went through all HISPID elements and mapped everything against Darwin Core. Some elements were deprecated, some kept for exchange purposes (but won't necessarily be provided to AVH), and some new fields were proposed. A draft document has been prepared. Ben is working on getting it the documentation into RDF (in which it will be maintained). A Google Doc version will be circulated soon. They didn’t get to collecting trip/expedition or deleted records, and Anne is still looking into hybrid formulae.

Ben is figuring out how RDF is used as a canonical reference for decision making for Darwin Core and other standards. He has put some notes in GitHub (https://github.com/hiscom/hispid-review-2014-15): people are welcome to add descriptions etc.

The aim is to ratify the new version of HISPID at the next face-to-face meeting.

Australasian Virtual Herbarium update (Aaron)

Aaron reported that they are starting to get data sets in from providers, and are running quality assurance checks on the data to pick up any issues. There has been some discussion with Michael Hope (ALA) about next steps, such as collectory pages for the NZ providers. The NZOR data cache is being discussed, as well as how to manage sensitive data lists for NZ. Dave Martin (ALA) is happy with the data that has been provided so far. The deadline for the release is still the end of June 2015, but it's unlikely that a demo site will be available by the end of March as previously planned.

Collections Community Coordinator update (Alison)

New people at ALA

  • Minky Faber is the new communications person while Fiona Brown is on maternity leave
  • Adam Atteia (web designer) is working on the site redesign. He is focussing on accessibility and responsiveness issues across mobile, tablet, desktop and large desktop. If anyone has ideas/feedback on website design, please send them to Alison so they can be passed on to Adam.

ALA funding post June 2015

  • Funding post-June 2015 is still uncertain at this stage, and may depend on outcomes of the proposed higher education reforms.

Progress with ALA-funded projects

  • CHAH has received the funds from the ALA, and those herbaria with projects have been sent letters asking them to invoice CHAH asap
  • The JCT project won't be going ahead due to personal circumstances that prevent key people from doing the work

National Biodiversity Data Management meeting

  • Alison and Alexis are attending an ALA meeting with representatives of the state conservation agencies to discuss terms of use and mechanisms for the provision of full resolution data; development of MoU for collaboration; ongoing management of the Sensitive Data Service; overview of activity of different agencies etc.

Work plan for the next few months

  • Alison will email an outline of what she intends to work on in the CCC role for the next few months