Towards a new online species-information system for legumes

Anne Bruneau, Leonardo M. Borges, Robert Allkin, Ashley N. Egan, Manuel De La Estrella, Firouzeh Javadi, Bente Klitgaard, Joseph T. Miller, Daniel J. Murphy, Carole Sinou, Mohammad Vatanparast, Rong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The need for scientists to exchange, share and organise data has resulted in a proliferation of biodiversity research-data portals over recent decades. These cyber-infrastructures have had a major impact on taxonomy and helped the discipline by allowing faster access to bibliographic information, biological and nomenclatural data, and specimen information. Several specialised portals aggregate particular data types for a large number of species, including legumes. Here, we argue that, despite access to such data-aggregation portals, a taxon-focused portal, curated by a community of researchers specialising on a particular taxonomic group and who have the interest, commitment, existing collaborative links, and knowledge necessary to ensure data quality, would be a useful resource in itself and make important contributions to more general data providers. Such an online species-information system focused on Leguminosae (Fabaceae) would serve useful functions in parallel to and different from international data-aggregation portals. We explore best practices for developing a legume-focused portal that would support data sharing, provide a better understanding of what data are available, missing, or erroneous, and, ultimately, facilitate cross-analyses and direct development of novel research. We present a history of legume-focused portals, survey existing data portals to evaluate what is available and which features are of most interest, and discuss how a legume-focused portal might be developed to respond to the needs of the legume-systematics research community and beyond. We propose taking full advantage of existing data sources, informatics tools and protocols to develop a scalable and interactive portal that will be used, contributed to, and fully supported by the legume-systematics community in the easiest manner possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-518
Number of pages24
JournalAustralian Systematic Botany
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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