Fall 2022 Portal Advancement Campaign Round-Up

In September and October, the Symbiota Support Hub completed two more Portal Advancement Campaigns, this time in conjunction with the leadership of the Mycology Collections Data Portal and the Pteridophyte Collections Consortium. Here’s an overview of what these communities accomplished during these month-long events, as well as a preview of what’s happening in November and December.

September: MyCoPortal

Currently led by Andy Miller (Illinois Natural History Survey), Scott Bates (Purdue University Northwest), and Phil Anders (Illinois Natural History Survey), the MyCoPortal community was originally founded as the central data repository for the Macrofungi Collection Consortium in 2012 (NSF Award #1205935) followed by the Microfungi Collections Consortium (“MiCC”) in 2015 (NSF Award #1502735). Since then, MyCoPortal has grown to become one of the largest Symbiota portal communities, housing data from an impressive 154 fungal collections–83 of which live-manage their collections in the portal–over 4 million images, and 9.5 million specimen occurrences. The MyCoPortal campaign garnered participation from 34 portal community members over the course of the month. Major accomplishments of this campaign included updating 23 snapshot collections and bringing in 126k new specimen records into MyCoPortal. Additionally, 47k names were added to the portal’s taxonomic thesaurus, making 386k additional specimen records visible to the global mycological research community.

October: Pteridoportal

Pteridoportal is led by a team at the University of California at Berkeley: Carl Rothfels (now Utah State University), Cindy Looy, Diane Erwin, Joyce Gross, and Amy Kasameyer. This portal hosts data for the currently funded Pteridophyte Collections Consortium (PCC), meaning the campaign enabled participating institutions to come together and tie up digitization “loose ends” in preparation for the TCN’s conclusion in 2023 (NSF Award # 1802504). One major accomplishment of this campaign was the ingestion of manually curated fossil pteridophyte taxonomy–no small task!–which added 29,440 taxonomic names to the portal’s central thesaurus, in turn making an additional 862,540 specimen records discoverable via the public search form. This is also noteworthy because Pteridoportal is the first collections community to fund the development of tools to enable Symbiota to support paleontological data. Additionally, this campaign included a special training session dedicated to helping the community learn how to update their snapshot data in the portal, thereby promoting Pteridoportal’s sustainability beyond the duration of dedicated TCN funding.

November: TORCH

In November and into December, the Symbiota Support Hub will host the final Portal Advancement Campaign of the year in collaboration with Diego Barroso, the TCN Project Manager for the Texas Oklahoma Regional Consortium of Herbaria (TORCH). Meeting registration and materials created for this campaign will be posted on the Hub’s website. The Symbiota Support Hub looks forward to working with the TORCH community to help improve their portal’s data quality and empower its users to use their portal to its full potential. 

If you need any assistance with your Symbiota portal, please contact the Support Hub for help with data curation, mobilization, and discovery.