Literature Interest Group

TDWG Interest Group (Open)


Martin R. Kalfatovic
Associate Director, Digital Services Division || Program Director, Biodiversity Heritage Library
Smithsonian Institution Libraries
10th Street & Constitution Ave., NW
Room 24 Mz
MRC 154 PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012
email: kalfatovicm(at)


Due to the international calls for greater availability of biodiversity data, an increasing number of institutions, especially the Biodiversity Heritage Library project (BHL) are digitising taxonomic literature and making these materials freely available on the World Wide Web. Most of the digitally available literature is in the form of image files and to a lesser extent, text files generated, sometimes very imperfectly, using optical character recognition (OCR). These are the two forms planned by the BHL. In a few cases text or metadata are searchable, but those are idiosyncratically formatted, marked up or split into fields.

An increasing number of institutions, publishers and funding bodies are however showing interest in making full text of portions of the taxonomic literature available. Having standards in place will facilitate their work and encourage them to make the literature data interoperable with other pertinent data.

Becoming Involved

The Literature group welcomes participation from all interested parties with biological, library, and publishing backgrounds. Members of the group are interested in standards and technologies for analysing biodiversity data from taxonomic literature and combining them with knowledge from other biodiversity data sets.

Participants in other TDWG groups that work on data included in taxonomic literature are strongly encouraged to participate. This participation is vital to ensure the standards are compatible and interoperable.

The TDWG process requires that new Task Groups be launched through an Interest Group. The Literature group can facilitate establishment of new Task Groups that relate to taxonomic literature standards.

Please contact the Convenor or Core members to discuss potential projects or join existing Task Groups.


  Last Modified: 28 August 2014