The Library of Identification Resources aims to help with species identification of animals, plants, and fungi. It contains a catalog of works that provide identification keys, pictorial guides, multi-access (matrix) keys, taxonomic references, or simply checklists.
The first part of the library is the catalog. It consists of both bibliographical metadata and other information on how to access the works, as well as information on the scope of the resource, such as the taxon or taxa that they distinguish, the geographical region that the resource applies to, and their intended completeness. Authors, publishers, and places of works, as well as works themselves, are linked to Wikidata.
The second part is that, in addition to works, the individual keys or guides within the works are also listed, with additional bibliographic metadata (e.g. page numbers), a per-resource specification of the biological scope of the resource (e.g. keys only for females, or only for larvae, or only for terrestrial species), and a list of the species (or genera, families; the leaf taxa) that can be distinguished with the individual resource, optionally with their taxonomic classification. These taxa are, when possible, linked to Catalogue of Life and GBIF.
For example, Liheyidy (Puchkov, 1969) an important work about the seed bugs (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae) of Ukraine is listed with bibliographical metadata and a link to a DjVu file of a scan of the book. The book contains a key to the families of the superfamily Lygaeoidea (B1378:1), as well as three keys to species: one for adults (B1378:2), one for nymphs (B1378:3), and one for eggs (B1378:4). Because the species included in those three keys differs (for some species, the larval form is simply not known), the keys are listed separately to correctly reflect the taxonomic coverage of the key.
The project got a joint third place in the 2023 GBIF Ebbe Nielsen Challenge from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).
The data in the catalog and in the individual resources is released under the CC0 Public Domain Dedication and available on GitHub at https://github.com/identification-resources/catalog.
Contributions to help improve the catalog are of course welcome. This can be done in a number of ways, including
- Suggesting new keys or other works to add to the catalog.
- Reporting errors in the metadata of already added resources.
- Adding or improving works yourself by editing the catalog file and making a pull request.
- Adding or improving resources within works.
How to use the site
To rank works by their relevance for a given observation at a given location, a tool has been developed which can be accessed here:
The full catalog of works can be searched and browsed here:
From there, individual works can be viewed in more detail, for example here:
From there, the individual resources within the work can be explored for example here:
A set of dynamic, interactive visualizations of the catalog can be viewed here:
A video tutorial showcasing some of these features, especially the first tool, is available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/QbYiM0qU1O4.