Pensoft, the publisher that publishes the successful open-access journal in taxonomy, Zookeys, has recently launched a new journal entitled 'Biodiversity Data Journal'. On its website, it states its purpose and scope:
"Biodiversity Data Journal (BDJ) is a community peer-reviewed, open-access, comprehensive online platform, designed to accelerate publishing, dissemination and sharing of biodiversity-related data of any kind. All structural elements of the articles – text, morphological descriptions, occurrences, data tables, etc. – will be treated and stored as DATA. The journal will publish papers in biodiversity science containing taxonomic, floristic/faunistic, morphological, genomic, phylogenetic, ecological or environmental data on any taxon of any geological age from any part of the world with no lower or upper limit to manuscript size."
Without a doubt, biodiversity and data are two hot terms. 'Biodiversity data' sounds quite exciting too. The BDJ seems an interesting journal. I look forward to reading articles published in this new journal (starting Nov 2012, see leaflet below).
I do have an idea that I think can be turned into a publication for this journal. Basically, I would like to publish images of museum collections, or what may be called 'virtual collections'. Our lab has been taking images of drawers and drawers of specimens of reduviids from more than 20 museums. These are primarily for us to have a record. We took these images during visits to museums. One might ask, why don't you just sort and identify the specimens on site? Well, we may not always have the time or the taxonomic expertise. Reduviidae is a large family with ~7,000 species. No one knows all the species. Museum visits are usually not more than a few days and one is usually already preoccupied with other projects. Instead of sorting and identifying the specimens on site, we take images of drawers or unit trays. We share those images within the lab or with other reduviid colleagues. If somebody wants to do a revision of a certain group, this person can go to our museum image collection and find out what is available and in which museum. Then one can highlight the desirable specimens and ask for a loan. This will help the curator or collection manager at the loaning museum, especially when it comes to unsorted, poorly identified material, say, those sorted only to order or family level.
You can also read several recently published papers on data sharing: TREE (1, 2), Bioscience, and Conservation Letters.
Writings related to insects, biodiversity and science in general