Biodiversity into your hands - A call for a virtual global natural history ‘metacollection’

Michael Balke, Stefan Schmidt, Axel Hausmann, Emmanuel FA Toussaint, Johannes Bergsten, Matthew Buffington, Christoph L. Häuser, Alexander Kroupa, Gregor Hagedorn, Alexander Riedel, Andrew Polaszek, Rosichon Ubaidillah, Lars Krogmann, Andreas Zwick, Martin Fikáček, Jiří Hájek, Mariano C. Michat, Christopher Dietrich, John La Salle, Beth MantlePeter KL Ng, Donald Hobern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many scientific disciplines rely on correct taxon delineations and identifications. So does a great part of the general public as well as decision makers. Researchers, students and enthusiastic amateurs often feel frustrated because information about species remains scattered, difficult to access, or difficult to decipher. Together, this affects almost anyone who wishes to identify species or verify identifications. Many remedies have been proposed, but we argue that the role of natural history collections remains insufficiently appreciated. We suggest using state-of-the-art mass imaging technology and to join forces to create a global natural history metacollection on the internet, providing access to the morphology of tens of millions of specimens and making them available for automated digital image analysis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Zoology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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