DINA – Specify. Collection Management Software and technological infrastructure.




The DINA (Digital Information system for NAtural history data) project develops an open-source Web-based information management system for natural history data. At the core of the system is support for assembling, managing and sharing data associated with natural history collections and their curation ("collection management"). Target collections include zoological, botanical, geological and paleontological collections, living collections, biodiversity inventories, observation records, and molecular data. DINA is primarily intended for large installations servicing the collection management needs of a country, a region, or a large institution.

DINA is developed by the DINA consortium, an unincorporated international partnership among organizations and individuals for collaborative open-source development. 

A hybrid DINA version, "DINA Light", is currently in production at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm. It consists of several prototype DINA modules running on top of the Specify 6 data model, and it uses the Specify 6 Java client for core collection management tasks. DINA Light will be released as an easy-to-install virtual box in January 2015, and will be made available both by the DINA project and through the EU BON portal. The first fully Web-based DINA version is expected to be released about a year later.

Tailored Specify database platform and tutorial

Specify is a database platform for museum and herbarium research data, developed by the Biodiversity Institute of the University of Kansas (USA). It manages species and specimen information for computerizing biological collections, tracking museum specimen transactions, linking images to specimen records and publishing catalog data to the Internet.

Specify supports data from specimens, taxonomic and stratigraphic classifications, field notebooks, DNA sequence runs, literature references, as well as from other primary sources. It also manages the information associated with repository agreements, accessions, conservation treatments, collection object containers, images, and document attachments.

Specify 6 tutorial with online video tutorials is available on the DanBIF (Danish Biodiversity Information Faciility) webpage. The tutorial contains pages explaining about the Specify forms and functions, and user-stories for museum curators and collection managers.

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