Wednesday, April 08, 2009

e-Biosphere Challenge

The e-Biosphere meeting in London June 1-3 has announced a The e-Biosphere 09 Informatics Challenge:

Prepare and present a real-time demonstration during the days of the Conference of the capabilities in your community of practice to discover, disseminate, integrate, and explore new biodiversity-related data by:
  • Capturing data in private and public databases
  • Conducting quality assurance on the data by automated validation and/or peer review
  • Indexing, linking and/or automatically submitting the new data records to other relevant databases
  • Integrating the data with other databases and data streams
  • Making these data available to relevant audiences
  • Make the data and links to the data widely accessible and
  • Offering interfaces for users to query or explore the data.

The "real time" aspect of the challenge seems a bit forced. I think they originally wanted a "live demo", but now they seem to be happy with a demo that unfolds over the three day meeting, without necessarily literally taking three days (what the organisers term "cooking shows"). I also think cash prizes would have been a good idea (the web site simply says "there will be prizes"). It's not the cash itself that matters, it's the fact that it indicates that the organisers are serious about wanting to attract entries. Entrants are likely to invest more time than they'd recoup in cash.

In any event, given that challenges are a great way to focus the mind on a deadline, I'll be entering the wiki of taxonomic names that I've been working on.

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