Das Leibniz-Institut zur Analyse des Biodiversitätswandels

ist ein Forschungsmuseum der Leibniz Gemeinschaft

Workshop within the Project: Morph·D·Base — Interface and Standards for Formalized Morphological Descriptions - 2017

January 23rd — 25th 2017
Zoological Research Museum Koenig, Bonn, Germany

This workshop gives the opportunity to contribute to the development of an interface for conducting formalized (i.e. ontology-based) morphological descriptions and the specification of adequate corresponding data and metadata standards. Formalized morphological descriptions are machine-readable, increase the comparability of morphological data and make them accessible for non-morphologists. They moreover provide a new analytical framework for comparative biology. This workshop is targeted at biologists with experience in the description of anatomical structures. You interact with the development team of MorphDBase and the members of the use cases of the ongoing project 'eScience-Compliant Standards for Morphology' (http://escience.biowikifarm.net/; DFG LIS call 'Standards for Indexing and/or Digitization of Object Classes in Scientific Collections').

Where and when

Venue: Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Bonn
Begin: Monday, 23rd, 1 p.m.
End: Wednesday, 25th, 2 p.m.
Fees: free of charge

Proposed agenda for the workshop


  • Welcome address
  • Presentation: current status
    • Ontology-controlled application approach: a set of MDB ontologies describes database processes and the graphical user interface representation and functionality; the java middleware interprets these descriptions; a web application creates the user interface based on data from middleware and in reference to interface elements described in the design catalog.
    • Reasons for adopting the ontology-controlled application approach
  • Presentations: GUI mockup “morphological descriptions” and current prototype.
  • Presentation: report from use case Taxonomic Descriptions and Digitization of Apoid Wasps from the MfN Collection.
  • Presentation: report from use case Evolutionary Morphology of Circulatory Systems in Arthropods.
  • Presentation: report from use case Taxonomic Descriptions and Digitization of West African Crocidurine shrews from the ZFMK Collection.


  • Hands on: test of the prototype; user interviews to document first impression of each user and individual feedback.
  • Joint discussion and feedback.
  • Entry forms for a formalized morphological description: Development of general schemata.
  • Metadata schemata: development of a list of metadata information to be stored with a morphological description. Which metadata is automatically produced by the application, which manually added by the user.

Identification and documentation of specific user demands:

  • Specify the needs and demands of the use cases (and other users) in terms of functionality and the user interface.

Roadmap for the remaining 10 month:

  • Communication with the DFG
  • Discussion: must-have/nice-to-have features to be implemented in the remaining time.