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Title: What is an open Digital Specimen?
Keywords: Open Digital Specimen
Publication Date: 2021
Description: The word ‘open’ is applied in the sense of an open format for Digital Specimens as defined by a published specification, the openDS specification. With the intention to improve interoperability, open formats can be used by anyone and their use is often encouraged within, by and for specific communities and the associated software applications and systems. From the perspective of the commons and the Open Definition, open can be applied further to mean that open Digital Specimens can be “freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose.” However, initial publication of Digital Specimen content is constrained by considerations of applicable legislative constraints, which in the bio- and geo-diversity domain is interpreted to mean that the aim with Digital Specimens is to be “as open as possible, as closed as legally necessary.” ‘Open’ is also used in the sense that a Digital Specimen is a mutable digital object, meaning that it can be manipulated and modified by appropriately authorized persons. Open Digital Specimens ultimately act as a common curation space where experts should be able to contribute above and beyond the data held at the local level of a specific natural science collection.
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