intermountainbiota: I have just applied to join the eflora India group and explained that my primary interest is in enabling herbaria to share information. The web site that I mention there ( the address currently is http://usuherbarium.usu.edu/vpopen) is open to any herbarium although only one of those listed has contributed a record. There is a reason for this – I found that I had made an error in uploading names which took a long time to correct because each name had to be corrected individually. I would really like to help Indian herbaria start digitizing. Of course, once India has a web site for its herbaria, I would encourage data from India to be made available through that site, then to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. But one has to start somewhere and VPOpen would enable herbaria to get started, to learn what is involved, and to help those working on the Flora of India by providing information about where specimens are located – or are thought to be located, possibly on the basis of a misidentification. At the same time, web site can create resources that are immediately useful to botanists and students, particularly if they include images.
The site is rather different from the Efi site in its emphasis on herbarium specimens and in its incorporation of features that make it easy for people to use – these are best appreciated by going to http://intermountainbiota.org (I made a mistake in my note of application). The intent of the site is to support work towards development of floras by helping provide access to records while making it easy for botanists to share their discoveries and local knowledge.
It would be really helpful if I could be given, or allowed to download, a list of the taxa currently known to be part of India’s flora. The software allows herbaria to enter data through the internet but the scientific name must be in the site’s data dictionary – hence my request. If you have any questions, please send them to me. I should perhaps add that I am a taxonomist, not a computer programmer.
The Global Biodiversity Information Facility is encouraging publication of biodiversity data papers from Spain Colombia, and India (http://www.gbif.org/communications/news-and-events/showsingle/article/support-for-projects-to-promote-data-paper-publication/?goback=%2Egde_55171_member_206116090). There is an article describing what is meant by a biodiversity data paper at http://www.gbif.org/orc/?doc_id=2982&l=en (or go to the download link http://www.pensoft.net/J_FILES/Pensoft_Data_Publishing_Policies_and_Guidelines.pdf).