Meeting Notes 2nd Consortium Meeting Leiden February 15, 2013

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Seventh Framework Programme

Topic: 2nd Consortium Meeting pro-iBiosphere project
Work package: All work packages
Task: All tasks
Goal: Provide an overview of the project status (deliverables, milestones) ; follow-up of the project objectives; monitor progress of WP1-6 ad tasks; take actions for the next 3 months of the project
Participants: Consortium members
Mailing list: Consortium /
Author: Consortium
Place: Leiden, NL
Time: 13.20–17.15
Date: 15 February 2013
Next meeting date: May 24, 2013, Berlin, Germany

Consortium Meeting Minutes – 15 February 2013

Deliverable Status: Final
Dissemination Level: Public

© Copyright 2012 The pro-iBiosphere Consortium, consisting of:

Naturalis Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Netherlands
NBGB Nationale Plantentuin van België, Belgium
FUB-BGBM Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Pensoft Pensoft Publishers Ltd, Bulgaria
Sigma Sigma Orionis, France
RBGK The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, United Kingdom
Plazi, Switzerland
Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Germany


All intellectual property rights are owned by the pro-iBiosphere consortium members and are protected by the applicable laws. Except where otherwise specified, all document contents are: “© pro-iBiosphere project - All rights reserved”. Reproduction is not authorised without prior written agreement.

All pro-iBiosphere consortium members have agreed to full publication of this document. The commercial use of any information contained in this document may require a license from the owner of that information.

All pro-iBiosphere consortium members are also committed to publish accurate and up to date information and take the greatest care to do so. However, the pro-iBiosphere consortium members cannot accept liability for any inaccuracies or omissions nor do they accept liability for any direct, indirect, special, consequential or other losses or damages of any kind arising out of the use of this information.

Revision Control

  • Version 1.0 by Camille Torrenti, 2013-02-22


pro-iBiosphere 2nd Consortium meeting took place on February 15, 2013 in Leiden, Netherlands as part of the organisation of Meeting #2 series of workshops and management meetings.

Review of Work Package 1 Management and Coordination

Soraya Sierra

The coordinator (Naturalis) recommended during the Kick-off meeting that each partner should submit the activity report of their corresponding task along with the related person-month and budget expenses. This method allows a closer monitoring of the project consumption, in particular as regards to person-months. The advantage of this 3-months reporting has already been proven as 4 remaining person-months have been identified and will be allocated to other tasks that require additional support.

However, for some partners it results being difficult and almost impossible to report the person-month consumption per task as their organisation does not work this way. It has therefore been agreed that if partners have the ability to report on their person-months consumption on a 3 months basis, they are encouraged to do so still this is not mandatory.

Soraya Sierra reminded partners that all leaders must all meet on the 11th of October 2013, on the occasion of Workshop number 3 in Berlin, for a review meeting rehearsal to prepare the upcoming review. This review should take place in Brussels in the second or the third week of November 2013. Partners were requested to block these dates on their agendas and be prepared to travel to Brussels. .

The workshops organised by the NBGB (T2.3), Naturalis (T3.1) and Plazi (T3.2) attracted a total of 101 participants. The discussions and input received by the various participants has been very useful for the consortium in order to understand what are priorities and how to shape further work. The outcomes of the workshops will provide us a strong basis for writing the three deliverables. A questionnaire to evaluate the meeting was distributed to all participants of the workshops. The outcomes of this questionnaire will be included in the second management report.

Review of Work package 2 European and international policy coordination

Steven Dessein

Should we invite someone from economics to present the calculation of digitalization costs? It may indeed be useful to have someone specialised and used to calculate this kind of cost.It would allow us to have a solid calculation and be well inormed.,

Task 2.1 Coordination and routes for cooperation across organizations, projects and e-infrastructures

Gregor Hagedorn

There was agreement to shortening the duration of the third meeting that will take place in Berlin. Having full and separate days will strengthen the audience separation and focus. Arrival will be on Whit-Monday (= public holiday in Berlin).WS 1 (stakholders requirements), 2 (costs of delivering services), and 3 (routes for cooperation) will take place on Tuesday the 21st, Wednesday the 22nd, and Thursday the 23rd, respectively. A WP6 brainstroming session and the third Consoritum Meeting will take place on Friday the 24th of May.

The online agenda on the wiki will be updated by the organisers of the workshops.

Task 2.2 Stakeholder requirements

Don Kirkup

The list of participants for the Stakeholders workshop will be ready before the 23rd of February 2013. The agenda is available on the wiki.

Task 2.3 e-tools for taxonomy

Quentin Groom

A survey has been distributed to stakeholders in several countries find out more on taxonomists’ opinion on e-tools. Overall 52 (as of 15 Feb. 2013) surveys were completed comprising 1/3 of alpha taxonomists; editors took also part in this survey. The results of this survey were presented to project partners.

The main findings of the survey were that stakeholders: - Would need/want training to use e-tools - Think language is not an issue for the use of e-tools - Are rather working with people outside their country than within their own country - Store their original observation data for a majority in a database, however, there is still quite a few persons that keep this data in text documents - Think that users of taxonomy information are amateurs and conservationists who use publications and they are in regular contact with them.

Task 2.4 Legal issues of data acquisition, curation and dissemination

Donat Agosti

There will be future inputs on this work package once the first results on the workflows will be made available. No results to display to date.

Work package 3 Scientific content and workflow coordination

Walter Berendsohn

Provided a summary report of the workshops organised by Naturalis (Task 3.1) and Plazi (3.2).

Task 3.1 Data acquisition and curation

Soraya Sierra

Expected results:

  • Identify and promote good practices for entering new field data and collaboratively writing of taxonomic treatments, and provide standardized editorial policies.

Preliminary results of the workshop:

  • There is a need for more awareness and accessibility of Floras
  • If there are no links there is no value. Citations, annotations should be taken into account. DoIs vs. LSIDs? LSIDs are no longer in use
  • maintaining links conserves knowledge
  • crowd involvement in restricted tasks needs to be attractive and rewarding
  • who and where are the users (multi-lingual services) ?
  • Establish a persistent, stable and trustful system
  • Convince & educate publishers & (isolated) editors to change editorial practices
  • Guidelines for publishing
  • Provide vocabularies in e-tools (authors are inconsistent & language complex)
  • Define and monitor data quality
  • Custom mark-up schemas can be faster for some Floras
  • Complete automation is not possible

Task 3.2 Semantic mark-up generation, data quality, and user-participation infrastructure

Donat Agosti

Expected results: Define the road ahead on the field of semantic mark-up, data quality and user-participation infrastructure; generation of semantic mark-up in respective document collections (i.e. recognition of treatment boundaries, of feature descriptions and of other characteristics of species). Preliminary results of the workshop:

  • Open content is re-usable/accessible content
  • What is open what is not?
  • Stop backlock now, by publishing new papers online
  • Solutions?
  • Software collaboration
  • Repositories synchronization avoids duplication, gives consistency; Share data stores
  • Single-purpose tool kept persistently
  • Network of trust (ID system for entering records)
  • Educate and promote tools among taxonomists
  • Expert input; review and report on data
  • Need institutional & governmental commitments
  • Publishing guidelines:
  • publisher scoring system
  • mark-up core info to connect data: occurrence, name, time, description, history, institution stored)
  • Include name recognition in PWT or Excel
  • Separate names & taxonomy
  • Include DOIs
  • Focus on user cases
  • Align concepts, how to visualize?
  • External input for knowledge management and business model

Task 3.3 Semantic integration of biodiversity literature

Jana Hoffmann

A draft of the report D3.3 has been prepared by Henning Scholz before he left the MfN. This report will be circulated among partners for identification of gaps and need for improvement.

Following this consortium meeting, Jana Hoffman (MfN contact person) will provide her recommendations to the general directorate regarding the planned activities and the skills needed to replace Henning Scholz’s position and to identify who could take care of this project. The directors of MfN will meet in the beginning of March and will take a decision following this meeting. She is aware that one important goal of the project is to achieve semantic interoperability, and this is an important outcome of T3.3.

Among the activities of task 3.3, MfN will organise a workshop in Berlin on February 2014. Pensoft, Jana Hoffman and Walter Berendsohn met on Thursday evening (14.02.2013) to better define the expected outputs and aims. The preliminary agenda drafted will need improvement; the upcoming workshop held in May 2013 may help to improve this agenda. Partners should think about who to invite and to already make some content available to share with potential participants as some of them may need to be informed well in advance to plan their trip (for instance participants from the US).

Review of Work package 4 Technical and infrastructure coordination

Task 4.1 Improve technical cooperation and interoperability at the e-infrastructure level

Walter Berendsohn

As part of the pilots activities, the FUB-BGBM will try to set-up a full workflow of legacy literature through Plazi into the platform, including the Pensoft Writing Tool. Outputs will be made available into a publication pipeline. Inputs from the last workshops should be used to see if something is not working out for the digitization/mark-up process. We should also consider an emergency plan in case major difficulties arise. The pilots should show the value of mark-up while looking at the species distribution using all literacy literature. The authors will decide where to submit their publications (i.e. not necessarily via Pensoft). .

Task 4.2 Promote and monitor the development and adoption of common mark-up standards and interoperability between schemas

Donat Agosti

No achievements as of to-date.

Review of Work package 5 Dissemination, communication and public awareness

Camille Torrenti

Task 5.1 Development of the project image, documentation and external communication web platform

Camille Torrenti

Many things have already been developed among WP5 activities, in particular the different dissemination tools (online and offline: dissemination materials, website, wiki, social networks) and the dissemination strategy (the dissemination and communication implementation plan released at M4). All these tools are available on the project website. We are now entering into the promotional phase of the project in which the project activities and first results should be widely disseminated to the project stakeholders to increase project awareness and visibility among the stakeholders community.

The two main objectives of this promotional phase are, to (i) provide stakeholders with substantial content on the project activities, results and news and (ii) increase project visibility and awareness to a broader stakeholders audience through intense promotional activities.

As of today, the content provided by the project on the website and on social networks is not sufficient. We need to appoint, as soon as possible, a dedicated person to be in charge of managing the content and ensuring the quality and quantity of content on the project website, social networks and e-Newsletter. This person could therefore make sure that at least, per week, one news is posted on the website and one discussion is posted on the social networks, while asking for partners to contribute. All partners have dedicated person-month for dissemination activities and should contribute, through their activities (reporting, workshops, milestones) to at least one news per month on the website and one discussion per month on the social networks.

The good news is that following the first activity report at M3, the project coordinator (Naturalis) identified 4 remaining person-months that could be reallocated to other project tasks. These 4 person-months can be used to resolve the issue of the management of dissemination content.

As regards to the poor participation and potential of Google + and Facebook, shall we decide to close these two accounts and to rather concentrate and focus on Twitter and LinkedIn to foster an online community? The consortium decided that first a quality content leader should be appointed to manage the content of these social networks and that promotional activities will be undertaken by PENSOFT to increase membership. We will then decide later, on the occasion of the third Consortium meeting organized on May 24, 2013, and depending on the status of membership at that time, wheter to close them or maintain them.

The promotional phase launch will be guaranteed by the creation of a dissemination contact database. First contacts have already been listed through the identification of other initiatives by Sigma Orionis and through the directory of potential participants to the pro-iBiosphere workshops during the preparation phase of the project. These lists have been consolidated by Sigma Orionis and are now available on the wiki. Each project partner will provide 30-40 contacts to be added to this list either experts or stakeholders involved in other initiatives so that we will build a wide and pertinent dissemination list. This list will allow us to disseminate the eNewsletter, invite potential participants to the Final workshop, promote the project results, a.o.

At present, the membership of the pro-iBiosphere social networks is too low, we should foster an online community and get stakeholders involved in the project groups. First, partners should all join the different groups and then PENSOFT should make sure the project joins the identified other initiatives social networks groups identified by SIGMA (list available in the project wiki and to be updated regularly by all partners). This is in particular the case for Twitter as the more accounts we will be following, the more likely we will increase the number of followers.

Efforts to disseminate the project to external promotional channels must be undertaken by the three main dissemination partners as soon as possible. The project could for instance promote its activities, results and events in the following way:

  • PLAZI can be in charge of linking with the other initiatives to post news and announcements of the pro-iBiosphere project on their websites,
  • PENSOFT can promote the project on the social networks groups mentioned above while posting project announcements,
  • SIGMA can ensure the project is promoted on the major European Commission websites and channels (newsletters) and through the network of the Advisory Board members.

Partners present in the workshops pointed out that many participants have been tweeting during the different pro-iBiosphere workshops. It should be foreseen to have a specific place displaying all the workshops’ related tweets to keep track of exposure. A specific page can be created for the upcoming workshops to display the tweets on live.

The main issue of Twitter and for the other project social networks accounts, is that the project needs a dedicated person responsible for managing the content. This person could follow all tweets for instance and retweet them so that they could appear on the project account.

Partners suggested that the eNewsletter could be attributed to a different partner each time, however, this idea might not be adequate as the quality may subsequently vary depending on the responsible partner involved. It has been decided that for the time being, the consortium members will be actively involved in promoting the eNewsletter and contacting persons that can provide contributions. The quality content leader will be in charge of gathering the content from all partners to be included in the project eNewsletter.

Task 5.2 Dissemination of the project results through outreach activities

Camille Torrenti

This task ensures that each partner contributes to at least 2 articles or oral contributions, a report gathering all partners’ contributions will be produced and included in the overall dissemination report D5.2 produced on an annual basis by Sigma Orionis. As of today, various partners’ have already contributed to publications and to other events. Future contributions are also envisaged.

Each time partners participate in other events or release a publication, they should fill in the form on the website to:

  1. Create a corresponding news
  2. To detail their contribution thanks to the online form
  3. To provide their presentation and/or article either through the form or by directly sending them to Sigma Orionis

Camille Torrenti (Sigma Orionis), WP5 leader, pointed out the importance for the project to attend the upcoming ICT event organised by DG CONNECT in Vilnius, Lithuania, on November 6 to 8th, 2013. The ICT event is Europe’s most visible forum for ICT research and innovation and has become a unique gathering point for researchers, business people, investors, and high level policy makers in the field of digital innovation. The ICT 2013 event will be the first opportunity to learn the details of research funding for ICT-related projects under Horizon 2020. Project partners should be present during this event while holding a booth and participating and organising networking sessions with the other attending initiatives.

A specific table on other dissemination activities is also available on the wiki for partners to fill in each time they make a contribution such as sending promotional emails, publishing a news on the project on other initiatives websites, distributing flyers to an event, a.o.

Sharing all these activities and related documents will enable Sigma Orionis to report on the project efforts towards dissemination of its activities and results, to provide concrete content and to report on quantitative performance indicators (number of events the project participated to, number of articles published, number of flyers disseminated, number of mailings sent to databases, etc.). For instance, the project flyers printed by Pensoft have distributed among the participants of the the second pro-iBiosphere meeting that took place in Leiden.

Review of Work Package 6 Sustainability planning

Don Kirkup

RBGK reminded partners to provide their feedbacks on the wiki for the agenda of the workshop on measuring and constraining the cost of delivering services held in May 2013.

Task 6.3 - Evaluating business models currently in use by partners A questionnaire to evaluate exploitation plans and business models at partners’ level was sent to all partners in December 2013 to gather their inputs.

This questionnaire included three parts:

  1. Exploitation plans at the level of your organization
  2. Business models currently in use in your organization
  3. Towards the sustainability of our joint initiative

The answers to this questionnaire have been collected and a first analysis was done by RBGK and Sigma Orionis in order to present the first outputs on the occasion of this consortium meeting.

Don Kirkup presented the results of the part on Business models: Regarding the overall value of the project, partners all agree that the main important aspects are knowledge and biodiversity. However, other questions led to a broader diversity of replies. Mainly because all partners’ organisations encounter different problems and needs, and their biodiversity field of reference is also diverse. Another point of interest is that for some questions, the word “unknown” is mostly used, in particular questions about the revenue stream and what users are currently paying. However, it appears a lot of “unknown” answers are related to the activities and concerns that will be part of task 6.1.

These first contributions of partners to the questionnaire on task 6.3 out the issue of the terminology, as all partners are not familiar with some concepts. There may be a need to eventually revisit the questions and to clarify some points, eventually by refining and developing the descriptions to ensure a common understanding of what kind of information is requested for each partner. For some particular points such as the financial aspect of the platforms, it will be necessary to do some work to find out complementary information.

Partners are encouraged to share the questionnaire to other interested respondents among their organisation, other institutions and projects. If some partners are still struggling to understand some questions and concepts, RBGK and Sigma Orionis can provide them with assistance while discussing and trying to clarify the main points of concern with them.

Jana Hoffmann informed partners that Richard Lane shared in a presentation the costs of data, which might be of interest.

Task 6.3 Evaluating business models currently in use by partners

Camille Torrenti

Camille Torrenti presented the findings corresponding to the exploitation plans and sustainability. He also shared the first outputs from the desktop research that will be part of the market background document that will be included in the first deliverable (D6.3.1) along with the questionnaire results at M6. In order to complement the desktop research, inputs from WP2, WP3, WP4, task 6.1 and 6.2 will be added in the report (due in M10).

D6.3 will be updated on a six months basis. As a result, in months 12 and 18, partners will be asked to update their previous answers. In month 14, a meeting to evaluate business models (MS22) should allow to make a significant step towards sustainability plans, with the preparation of a consensual document.

At this stage, Sigma Orionis will finalize the analysis of partners’ inputs and the drafting of the report. The deliverable will be submitted to the European Commission before the end of February 2013.


WP1 - The quarterly reporting of person-months consumption is recommended, however, it is not mandatory so that it is up to partners to decide if they wish to provide this data or not.

The next consortium meeting (3rd) will take place in Berlin on May 24 after the series of project workshops.

WP2 - Further developments are expected to be undertaken in coming weeks in particular with organisation of the workshops in May 2013.

WP3 - The different workshops resulted in being a success as the attendance was higher than it was originally planned. The first attendees’ feedbacks have been very positive. The event survey questionnaire will be analysed and the results will be added to the events report that should be released in the coming weeks.

WP4 - The pilots are for the moment in a test phase, the inputs from the last workshops will be used to adapt the pilots according to the users feedbacks and specifications.

WP5 - The promotional phase of our project is meant to increase the project visibility and awareness. This phase will start in the next months.

WP6 -. Task 6.1 is starting (M6) and will support task 6.3 activities with content feeding on the financing and cost part.

Action points: Naturalis will open a vacancy in order to hire somebody to provide support in the four tasks that are led by them. At present, the coordination, management, and four tasks are being performed by one person. The work load is high.

Naturalis will submit the second Management Report to the EC before the end of February 2013. The timely input from all partners is required.

The consortium needs to appoint a person responsible for managing the online content as soon as possible. Naturalis will open a vacancy in the next days in order to hire somebody to help with this and the various tasks that they are responsible for. In case they are not able to find a suitable person in the next weeks, the work load and available resources will need to be distributed among the consortium.

Jana Hoffman (MfN contact person) will provide her recommendations to the general directorate regarding the planned activities and the skills needed to replace Henning Scholz’s position and to identify who could take care of this project. The directors of MfN will meet in the beginning of March and will take a decision following this meeting.

Plazi, RBGK and Naturalis will prepare the list of participants and agenda for the May workshops that will take place in Berlin. The documents will be ready before the end of February 2013.

SIGMA will submit to WP1 the deliverable on “exploitation plans and sustainability” before the end of February 2013.

The FUB-BGBM will discuss with Pensoft how to make the Edit Platform for Cybertaxonomy interoperable with the Pensoft Writing Tool. This will be an extension of the pilot that has already been planned with Plazi.