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  1. Collections digitization relies increasingly upon computational and data management resources that occasionally exceed the capacity of natural history collections and their managers and curators. Digitization of many tens of thousands of micropaleontological specimen slides, as evidenced by the effort presented here by the Indiana University Paleontology Collection, has been a concerted effort in adherence to the recommended practices of multifaceted aspects of collections management for both physical and digital collections resources. This presentation highlights the contributions of distributed cyberinfrastructure from the National Science Foundation-supported Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) for web-hosting of collections management system resources and distributed processing of millions of digital images and metadata records of specimens from our collections. The Indiana University Center for Biological Research Collections is currently hosting its instance of the Specify collections management system (CMS) on a virtual server hosted on Jetstream, the cloud service for on-demand computational resources as provisioned by XSEDE. This web-service allows the CMS to be flexibly hosted on the cloud with additional services that can be provisioned on an as-needed basis for generating and integrating digitized collections objects in both web-friendly and digital preservation contexts. On-demand computing resources can be used for the manipulation of digitalmore »images for automated file I/O, scripted renaming of files for adherence to file naming conventions, derivative generation, and backup to our local tape archive for digital disaster preparedness and long-term storage. Here, we will present our strategies for facilitating reproducible workflows for general collections digitization of the IUPC nomenclatorial types and figured specimens in addition to the gigapixel resolution photographs of our large collection of microfossils using our GIGAmacro system (e.g., this slide of conodonts). We aim to demonstrate the flexibility and nimbleness of cloud computing resources for replicating this, and other, workflows to enhance the findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reproducibility of the data and metadata contained within our collections.« less
  2. Georeferencing is the process of aligning a text description of a geographic location with a spatial location based on a geographic coordinate system. Training aids are commonly created around the georeferencing process to disseminate community standards and ideas, guide accurate georeferencing, inform users about new tools, and help users evaluate existing geospatial data. The Georeferencing for Research Use (GRU) workshop was implemented as a training aid that focused on the creation and research use of geospatial coordinates, and included both data researchers and data providers, to facilitate communication between the groups. The workshop included 23 participants with a wide background of expertise ranging from students (undergraduate and graduate), professors, researchers and educators, scientific data managers, natural history collections personnel, and spatial analyst specialists. The conversations and survey results from this workshop demonstrate that it is important to provide opportunities for biocollections data providers to interact directly with the researchers using the data they produce and vice versa.