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Morphbank Terms and Definitions

ABCD
Stands for Access to Biological Collection Data. A naming schema. Morphbank schema most closely matches Darwin Core. Follow this link to an ABCD - Darwin Core Map. Here is a schema for Morphbank - Darwin Core - ABCD
Administrator
There are very few individuals given administrator privileges. An administrator has complete access to all data and in addition can add/modify and/delete news, base or master tables. Only someone with administrative privileges can add new users and create groups for which there is no associated taxon. Those with administrative privileges have all rights in all groups and are responsible for managing the entire Morphbank system.
Angle
In Views section, the location of the camera with respect to the specimen for photographing
API
The application programming interface (API) for services.morphbank.net/mb3/ describes how the query is put together and reveals what search combinations are possible. Currently contributors to Morphbank may use services.morphbank.net/mb3/ to perform searches on the Morphbank database. In the future, it will be possible to Insert (Put) data into Morphbank as well as Update (Push) data into Morphbank via web services. For those wondering just what restful services are, try the humorous introduction at How I Explained REST to My Wife.
Basis of Record
At the time of collection, the specimen was categorized as an observation, a living organization, a specimen, a germplasm/seed. The list of options is based on the Darwin Core standard http://darwincore.calacademy.org/. Basis of Record is defined as: A descriptive term indicating whether the record represents an object or observation. Another definition reads: The nature of the sample.
Collection Name
Name given to a Morphbank Collection by the collection's creator
Collections
Groups of specimen images or any objects in Morphbank assembled from the Morphbank database by Morphbank members for the purpose of manipulating, viewing, or storing for future use.
Character Collection
A kind of Morphbank collection that contains tools to define a character and its states.
Collector Name
Person(s) who collected the specimen that is referenced in Morphbank.
Contributor
Person having the authority to release the images for publication into Morphbank.
Coordinator
Associated with roles within a Morphbank Group, a Coordinator has the same privileges as Lead Scientist and each group may only have one Coordinator. In order to be assigned as a Group Coordinator, you must have lead scientist privileges for that group or have been assigned by the Morphbank administration. A Coordinator can add / remove group members, change a user's role in the group, as well as request spin-off groups to be developed with assigned Coordinators. The Coordinator can appoint another Lead Scientist in the group as a Coordinator. Only Coordinators have access to the group module, other group members do not.
Creative Commons
From their web site, Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. They provide free licenses in clear language. Morphbank's policy regarding public and private images stresses that all images must be uploaded with a Creative Commons License 3.0 (BY-NC-SA) or less-restrictive copyright. To select a less restrictive copyright, or public domain, please visit Creative Commons - choose a license.
Darwin Core
The Darwin Core (sometimes abbreviated as dwc) is a standard set of field definitions designed to facilitate collection, integration and exchange of natural history specimen information. Morphbank uses many of the Darwin Core-defined fields from Darwin Core 1.2 (Classic) and Darwin Core 1.4 (Draft Standard).
Date collected
The date the specimen (or sample) was collected.
Delivered uploading
Morphbank offers a service called delivered uploading. We provide an already prepared Excel Data Entry Workbook and the corresponding user's manual. The contributors can deliver to Morphbank a CD or DVD containing images and an Excel© Data Entry Workbook populated with information ready for upload.
Determination
The taxon name applied to the specimen / sample. From Darwin Core 1.4: The taxon name (with date and authorship information if applicable) of the lowest level taxonomic rank that can be applied.
Developmental stage
Growth phase of specimen. Current Darwin Core term for this is Life Stage: the age class or life stage of the biological individual represented by the sample. Examples: "egg", "eft", "juvenile", "adult". For insects, relevant values might be "larva", "pupa",...
Download
The user receives data from a remote computer.
External Links
References the ability of the Morphbank database to store durable URL website links associated Morphbank objects.
Fair Use Web Site
The images in Morphbank that are not password protected can be used for private, education, research or other non-commercial purposes for free, provided that the source and the copyright holder are cited.
Form
Choose a description of the morphotype of the specimen (emergent, parthenogenetic, queen, worker,...). Use "Indeterminate" if you do not wish to apply a specific morphotype designation to the specimen. In taxonomy, a morphotype is a specimen chosen to illustrate a morphological variation within a species population.
Group id, User id, Specimen id, View id, Locality id, Image id, Publication id, Annotation id
Morphbank-issued unique identifying numbers
Groups
Groups are comprised of users of the Morphbank system that share a common interest in a specific taxonomic area.
Guest
user role that has read only access privilege in the group where they have the "Guest" role.
GUI
"Pronounced gooie" - stands for globally unique identifier (or graphical user interface).
GUID
"Pronounced goo id" - stands for globally unique identifier.
Imaging
Technique used to capture photo of specimen such as auto montage, transmitted light; bright field, etc.
ITIS
Integrated Taxonomic Information System: database maintained by the US Department of Agriculture and used by Morphbank as the main taxonomic name server.
Jpg (jpeg), .tif (tiff)
Joint Photographic Experts Group (pronounced jaypeg), tagged image file format -- Morphbank-accepted file formats for images.
Lead Scientist
Same privileges as scientist but on all objects owned by the group to which the user belongs. A lead scientist can also be a coordinator or group manager and therefore manage users and their permissions in a group. For now, a lead scientist sends a request to the Morphbank team for creation of a group.
Locality
Detailed information about where a specimen was collected or observed.
Login
Enter in a Morphbank issued user id and password for the purpose of adding /modifying or viewing restricted data.
LSID
Life Science Identifiers -- the GUID widely used identification scheme for the Life Science domain.
Modified Darwin Core Standard
A naming standard currently used by Morphbank.
Morphbank
Open web repository of images serving the biological research community.
My Manager
Morphbank's user-interface giving users easy access to and control over their objects in Morphbank.
NCBI accession numbers
National Center for Biotechnology Information accession numbers
Object
Referring to an image, specimen, locality, collection, annotation, etc.
OTU
Operational Taxonomic Units are representations of the organisms being compared. Units might include specimen(s) or taxon name(s).
Photographer
The name of the person who took the image uploaded to Morphbank.
Publication
Referring to any publication entered into the Morphbank system that may be related to other objects in Morphbank such as an image, specimen, locality, collection, taxon name etc.
Published
Referring to Morphbank related objects such as an image, specimen, locality, collection, etc. When an object is released in Morphbank for worldwide viewing.
Record
Referring to an image, specimen, locality, collection, annotation, etc. Any Morphbank object.
Roles
Categories of users within Morphbank groups such as guest, scientist, lead scientist, coordinator, and administrator. Roles are used to determined privileges that a user has within a Morphbank group.
Scientist
User role that has the authorization to add/modify/delete Specimen, Image, View, and Locality as well as annotate released images within their taxon or images not released and owned by the group they belong to.
Search
Find specific data through queries using keywords or id numbers
Secondary TSN
Morphbank-issued taxonomic serial number representing the area in which the user has an alternate area of expert knowledge.
Sex
Gender of specimen
services.morphbank.net
Web services are currently available for Morphbank contributors to query Morphbank and return output in a variety of formats (XML, Thumbnails, RDF) as well as set up RSS feeds. Go to the Morphbank User Manual section Morphbank Web Services for details.
sftp, smtp
Secure File Transfer Protocol (used for transferring files over the internet), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (used for transferring email from one server to another)
Sort
Arrange or order groups of information with a common interest into a sequence.
Specify 6
From the Specify 6 web site: Specify 6 is a museum and herbarium collections data management system for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Specify 6 processes specimen information for computerizing holdings, for tracking collection management transactions, and for mobilizing species occurrence data to the internet. Specify is free and open source licensed. A project is underway to create a piece of software that will output data in a Specify 6 database into Morphbank XML suitable for uploading via web services. This streamlines and simplifies the upload of large amounts of data to Morphbank and paves the way for future data-updates to keep databases in sync.
Specimen part
Pertains to a view that contains a portion of a specimen
Stage
The Developmental Stage, i.e., the age class, reproductive stage, or life stage of the biological individual referred to by the record. Examples: "juvenile", "adult", "nymph", the developmental growth phase of a specimen.
Submit
Upload data to a remote computer. (E.g. clicking the "submit" button on the Add Image screen will upload the image to the Morphbank database.
Submitter
Person entering the data into Morphbank (may be the same person as the contributor).
Tab or comma-delimited text files
ASCII data files where the fields are separated by a tab or comma character. Used for upload of data into Morphbank.
Taxon
Scientific name of the specimen
Tools
Header Menu button in Morphbank directing the user to: Submit, My Collections, My Manager, Select Group, Account settings, and Log Out.
Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN)
The ID number of a specific taxon in the ITIS database.
Morphbank Number (mtsn)
A taxonomic identification number assigned by Morphbank to a taxon name added to Morphbank. These numbers always begin with 999. The 999 number indicates the name was uploaded to Morphbank. In the future, Morphbank plans to retrieve names from existing taxonomic name servers like uBio, Catalog of Life, ZooBank, etc. thereby, simplifying upload for Morphbank contributors.
TWiki
A structured Wiki site. One is currently used by Morphbank developers to gather information about future version requirements.
Type Status
A code indicating a particular kind of specimen. Morphbank currently uses nomenclatural types as defined by ICBN and the ICZN, e.g. holotype, lectotype, paratype, etc.
Upload
The user sends data to a remote computer.
View
A view specifies the criteria under which a photograph was taken. Specific details are included here about: what is in a given image (specimen part), the orientation of the camera with respect to the object being imaged (view angle), preparation of the specimen for imaging (imaging preparation technique) as well as the sex, form and life stage of the specimen in the image.
Wiki
A type of website that allows users to add, remove, or otherwise edit and change all content very quickly and easily, sometimes without the need for registration (defined from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page)
XML Schema for Morphbank
View the current Morphbank XML Schema here.


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