On February 23 - 24, the first conference on the development of National Specimen Information Infrastructure (NSII) was held in the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IB-CAS). The conference was held by IB-CAS, organized by the NSII office. The director Ruidan Wang and the director Fan Lu from National Science and Technology Infrastructure, Ministry of Science and Technology, the deputy director Yongsheng Tian from Science and Technology for Development Bureau, CAS, the associate director Xiaoquan Wang (presided over the work) and the director of science and technology Xiuhong Yang from IB-CAS were invited to the meeting.
Ms. Ruidan Wang delivered a speech in the opening, she affirmed the achievements of NSII and introduced the hierarchical dynamic management and open development of National Science and Technology Infrastructure. Mr. Yongsheng Tian reviewed the history of specimen digitization in China, emphasizing the significance of specimen digitization for scientific development and national strategy. Prof. Xiaoquan Wang stated that specimen was the credentials and resources for study, recording information for environmental climate change. A large data could be formed after specimen digitization and sharing. Through the modern high-tech tools, users could to analyze large data to provide users with more convenient service. The collection, preservation and sharing of specimen was a giant project, not only providing services for current scientific research, but also for future generations. Prof. Xiaoquan Wang announced the new NSII website http://www.nsii.org.cn officially online. More than 190 participants from 88 institutions, museums, and herbaria attended the meeting. The meeting was chaired by Prof. Keping Ma, the leader of NSII.
Prof. Keping Ma gave a keynote report on the progress of specimen digitization and development of NSII. Prof. Haining Qin, Prof. Jun Chen, Prof. Diqiang Li, Prof. Xingjin He, Prof. Mingyue He, Asso. Prof. Jie Zhang were invited to give a plenary speech. They introduced the status and progress of six platforms including plant specimens, animal specimens, teaching specimens, nature reserves specimens, mineral rock and fossil specimens and polar specimens, respectively.
The conference had two symposiums in three parallel sessions. A total of 29 speakers shared the progress of specimen digitization in biology and geography, as well as the related technical tools.
To encourage more institutions to participate in the development of specimen digitization in China, the meeting had a detailed discussion about the problems encountered and the future plans. The participants shared their opinions, comments and well targeted suggestions.
During the internal discussion, the leader of sub-platforms of plants, animals, nature reserves, teaching, rock and polar specimens, introduced the work plans and priorities respectively. 13 experts joined the discussion and expressed their comments and suggestions. It was suggested that each sub-platform could make goals and planning in the long term, to improve the users’ experience of the website, improve both data quantity and quality.
Finally, Prof. Ma made a conclusion. 1) Make a long-term planning. It was important for six sub-platforms to understand the goals and the ways to achieve. 2) Make clear of NSII’s nature. NSII was not for profit, but was to promote scientific development. The key was for scientific research, teaching and public science with the core was taxonomy and geography. 3) Consider the integrity of the data. Attentions were given not only to specimens, but also checklist, literatures and pictures, to ensure the integrity of the data. 4) Establish the concept of resources sharing. The existence of sub-platforms was only an organization way, it could not be a barrier for resource sharing. Sub-platforms should strengthen their internal communications, including technology sharing to promote the resources sharing. 5) The openness of project management. It was important to attract more people to participate in NSII, and establish a multi-win model.
The meeting achieved the expected results.