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ICE 2016 Orlando Symposium proposal – Building the Biodiversity Knowledge Graph for Insects

Calls are going out currently to submit Symposium proposals for the XXV International Congress of Entomology (ICE 2016) in Orlando. Here is the summary for one such proposal led by Nico Franz and Katja Seltmann and intended for the category: Biodiversity, Biogeography and Conservation Biology. If you would like to contribute as potential speaker to this Symposium proposal, please contact Nico Franz (s0on).

Title: Building the Biodiversity Knowledge Graph for Insects – Components, Progress, Challenges.
Presentation Type: Combination Oral and Poster Presentations.

Summary Statement: This proposed Symposium, which falls into the category of “Biodiversity, Biogeography and Conservation Biology”, will be a platform to share and advance global developments in insect systematics and biodiversity informatics towards the goal of achieving more and better information integration across spatial, temporal, and domain-driven scales. The theme adopts Rod Page’s metaphor of a “biodiversity knowledge graph” (, whose services and utility to diverse contributor and user communities are as much or even more manifested in novel pathways for data interconnection than in the provision of more or less isolated (though valuable) resources. Hence, preference will be given to speakers and subjects that specifically address and present solutions to the challenge of virtually and semantically linking traditionally disparate information types and environments. Contributions can address both conceptual and practical issues and applications in this area. We will emphasize the importance of re-/connecting the insect biodiversity informatics community with national and international efforts such as iDigBio, GBIF, and TDWG. Linking the processes of collection digitization and systematic monography can be a suitable sub-theme, and would touch on issues of annotating characters at the specimen level, representing provenance of systematic information in biodiversity data platforms, and bridging the gap between specimen-level data generation and peer-reviewed publication. Relevant standards and best practices for data annotation and integration will also be covered.

In summary, the Symposium will have “building better linkages” as its central theme and thus fit well within the overall “Entomology Without Borders” theme of ICE 2016. The specific emphasis is on virtually available insect biodiversity data, which should interest a wide range of audiences, from taxonomists, collection researchers, informaticians, ecologists, to conservation scientists. And the emphasis on contemporary informatics practices and solutions provide an important global link because “global” is the appropriate scale for many of the integration tasks to be realized.

Symposium Description (50 words): This Symposium focuses on advances and challenges related to the creation of an “insect biodiversity knowledge graph”, with emphasis on novel concepts and applications that aim to build better linkages across disparate, globally distributed insect diversity information domains. Connections to the systematics, collections, informatics, and conservation communities will be prioritized.

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