Dear Christy and Emma:

Thanks for conducting this survey!  Its great to see the enthusiasm for and use 
of digital data!  I was surprised by the strong interest in centralized digital 

I am the founder and director of MorphoSource ( and we are 
planning to begin a massive scaling of our infrastructure thanks in part to 
major NSF funding 
 and matching commitments from other sources.  Part of our long term plan for 
sustaining growth of the archive involves recruiting help from other 
institutions for distributing storage needs in a cloud-like fashion.  Some of 
the details of this plan (explaining the mutual benefits of such an 
arrangement) as well as a description of many of the basic features of 
MorphoSource are available here 

Many of the features that people were hoping for in a digital archive according 
to survey responses (DOIs, metadata describing ownership, better searching and 
downloading, restricting use during embargo periods, tracking use after) are 
already implemented on MorphoSource and being used.  It is designed not only to 
serve the interests of users in getting data, but also the interests of 
contributors and curators in regulating and tracking data use. 

A critical component of any architecture for an open use 3D database is 
maintaining relationships between raw and successive derivative versions of 
datasets. All such relationships can be maintained in a straightforward way in 
our infrastructure when uploading either new data or data derived from existing 
datasets on the archive.

Furthermore, our team is coordinating with a number of other groups in 
developing a standard data vocabulary (probably as an extension of Audubon 
Core) for describing and sharing such data. 

MorphoSource currently hosts almost 30,000 datasets representing 3D scans of 
~7000 specimens from 150 different museums.  We are also beginning a 
collaboration with 15 museums across the US to add another 20,000-30,000 
specimens ('oVert' an NSF TCN led by David Blackburn at UF, Gainesville).


Doug :)

On Friday, August 11, 2017 at 2:06:11 AM UTC-4, Christy Anna Hipsley wrote:
> Dear Morphmeters,
> The digital morphology data survey posted here 2 weeks ago is now closed, and 
> we thank you immensely for your overwhelming (117!) responses. 
> For a graphical summary of those answers, please click here. 
> Next week I will present these results together with a literature survey on 
> the impacts of digital morphology in systematic research at the BioSyst.EU 
> meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden. After that we will be working to put this 
> information into a broader context with recommendations on how we can 
> practically move forward as a community to ethically source and disseminate 
> our data, based largely on your feedback. At first glance it's clear that 
> issues like author acknowledgement, access, resources, and institutional 
> policies will play major roles in this endeavour.  
> As a simple illustration, below is a word cloud based on your responses to 
> the question "What do you see as the biggest obstacles to obtaining digital 
> morphology data?".
> We will continue to post our findings here and again we thank everyone for 
> their time and feedback.
> Best wishes,
> Christy & Emma
> Dear Morphmet Community, 
> I kindly ask your help in completing a short survey on trends in digital 
> morphology data generation and use as part of a perspectives piece on the 
> “Ethics of data sharing in the age of digital imaging”, which I will present 
> at this year’s BioSyst EU meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden 
> ( 
> While many recommendations have been made on best practices in this field, we 
> as a community are still far from a consensus on how our data should be 
> managed, both on the side of the people generating it and the people 
> requesting it. 
> Your responses are anonymous, and I will post the results on Morphmet at the 
> end of the survey. The questions are focused on 3D digital morphology data 
> (CT, laser scanning, etc), but please feel free to answer if you also deal 
> with 2D images. 
> To reach the survey, go here: 
> The site will remain active for the next 2 weeks, until Friday, 11 August. 
> Almost every question has the option to enter text, so please give as much 
> information and opinions as possible to help us represent your concerns! 
> Thank you for your time, 
> Christy Hipsley & Emma Sherratt 

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