The cited half-life of publications in biodiversity is long, comparing with other scientific discipline, and current taxonomic literature often relies on historical texts.
However, a lot of valuable historical published biodiversity literature are scattered around the world, even in some remote areas, and are difficult to access. The lack of access to these literatures would be an obstacle to efficient research, immediate communication among researchers and other feasible applications. As a nation with abundant biodiversity, China is experiencing the same problem.
Biodiversity Heritage Library-China (BHL-China) was launched in Sept. 2009 with great support of Biodiversity Committee of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Institute of Botany, CAS. The project aims to systematically arrange and preserve the Chinese biodiversity literature in a more effective way, and to build an interoperable platform for the researchers in biodiversity and its related fields as well. In alignment with BHL headquarter,
BHL-China is dedicated to make the biodiversity knowledge and literature available online and thus everybody who is interested can get access.
Up to now, BHL-China team has digitized more than 3500 volumes of books as well as over 11, 000 issues of journals with approximately 2000,000 pages. The number of species name-page entries has climbed over 1,800,000 all that followed the common widely-used Taxon X and Darwin Core standard.
In addition, an end-to-end way for transportation of data was established between BHL-China and the Internet Archive. With deeply mining of the collected data, BHL-China provides a robust portal with easy and functional search for taxa-specific biodiversity information. According to the agreement reached by the BHL members, a great big body of digitized literature the amount of which has accumulated to 10, 0000 volumes contributed by BHL-USA are being locally stored.
Besides normal book scanning and text extraction, establishing a one by one link between species name recorded in sopecies-2000 and literature collected by BHL is ongoing. In future, a mirror for BHL-Europe and BHL-US will be set up. Based on the species name, BHL-China will integrate the information of geo-location, specimen and live pictures and so on. BHL-China hopes to provide the comprehensive and authoritative literature support and the compliant API interface services with potential users.