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No specimen left behind: industrial scale digitization of natural history collections

Vladimir Blagoderov, Ian J. Kitching, Laurence Livermore, Thomas J. Simonsen, Vincent S. Smith
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Journal Article
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Traditional approaches for digitizing natural history collections, which include both imaging and metadata capture, are both labour- and time-intensive. Mass-digitization can only be completed if the resource-intensive steps, such as specimen selection and databasing of associated information, are minimized. Digitization of larger collections should employ an "industrial" approach, using the principles of automation and crowd sourcing, with minimal initial metadata collection including a mandatory persistent identifier. A new workflow for the mass-digitization of natural history museum collections based on these principles, and using SatScanĀ® tray scanning system, is described.

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