ISC conference call - 12th September 2017

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ISC conference call - 12th September 2017
Title ISC conference call
Location Google Hangout
Date Start 2017/09/12 13:00 UTC
Date End 2017/09/12 15:00 UTC


  1. Election of a secretary for the meeting
  2. Approval of the agenda
  3. Approval of the minutes of the previous meeting
  4. Review of DINA ISC decisions (Redmine)
  5. Report from DINA TC
    1. TC meeting in Stockholm, May 15-19
    2. Progress report
    3. Recruitments
  6. Report from SPNHC
  7. DINA presence at TDWG
  8. New business model for Specify: implications for DINA
  9. Partner reports
  10. Any other business
  11. Next meeting


  1. Election of secretary for the meeting. Stefan was elected with Fredrik as assistant.
  2. Approval of the agenda. Agenda approved
  3. Approval of the minues of the previous meeting. Minutes from the last two meetings were approved.
  4. Review of DINA ISC decisions (Redmine)
    • Taxonomy module. It was decided to close the issue on the taxonomy module. There is no urgent need for an ISC decision on this. The DINA TC will continue the discussion on the taxonomy module and will inform the ISC if/when an ISC decision is needed.
    • Change of membership. It was decided to have separate decision entries for the change of membership status of Copenhagen (from Core to Associate), Tartu (from Core to Associate) and Berlin (from Associate to Core).
    • Amendment of the MOC. The ISC initiated a discussion on various amendments to the MOC, and several potential improvements have been discussed (see Redmine decision thread on this). In the spring, all partners agreed on one of the proposals, a decision to lower the requirements on core partners from 1.0 FTE to 0.5 FTE contribution to consortium efforts (see Redmine decision on this). In connection with the amendment of the DINA MOC to reflect this, the text was also corrected to reflect a decision taken earlier in the DINA TC, namely to change the original MOC name "DINA Systems Engineering Task Force (SETF)" to "DINA Technical Committee (TC)". The ISC decided to have a separate decision entry for this change, for clarity. The amended DINA MOC text is posted on the wiki; it is dated 2017-03-15. It was decided that both of these changes to the MOC are of such a nature that an additional round of signatures will not be needed. Remaining suggestions for MOC revisions will remain in an open decision thread, with the aim of incorporating any changes based on them in a revised MOC text when it is time to renew the original 5-year MOC agreements.
  5. Report from DINA TC
    • TC meeting in Stockholm, May 15-19. Stefan briefly described the issues discussed during the workshop. All documentation is in the DINA github repostiory.
    • Progress report. Stefan, James and Jana described recent development progress in Stockholm, Ottawa and Berlin. In Stockholm, interviews aimed at identifying the core elements in the data model have been concluded with all collections. This is an iterative process, and questionaires and documentation for this first cycle are available to other DINA partners (available in English). The team has also implemented a new development process. The first sprints (over the summer) have focused on the user management module. The first target collection has been selected (in the Department of Zoology at the museum in Stockholm) and coming sprints will focus on implementing the core functionality needed in this collection. Once this collection uses the sysem in production, the process will continue with the next target collection. A first draft version of a minimal taxonomy API based on TC workshop outcomes has been completed; it only comprises simple read and search functionality. A more sophisticated taxonomy API will not have to be supported before the end of the year. In Ottawa, there has been some work on separating out storage functionality as a separate module. With respect to SeqDB, the focus is on supporting metagenomics functionality but some resources are also available to implement functionality needed in the Stockholm instance of the system. In Berlin, there is now an alpha version on GitHub available of the 'Generic Data Module', which allows users to store arbitrary data that do not fit in the core data model of the system. The team is currently working on the batch label creation unit.
    • Recruitments. Both Stockholm and Ottawa are recruiting additional team members.
  6. Report from SPNHC. James gave a DINA talk at SPNHC, and it was well received. Possibly as a consequence of this, several DINA consortium members have been contaced by Naturalis in Leiden, in connection with a review of their future strategies with respect to collection management systems.
  7. DINA presence at TDWG. Falko will probably present the DINA talk in the session on the long-term sustainability of biodiversity informatics systems. James will be busy with organizational tasks at the meeting. The abstract is at
  8. New business model for Specify: implications for DINA. Specify has announced that they can no longer count on support from the National Science Foundation and will need to find a new business model. This will likely involve some kind of fees for user support, and it is still unclear how further development of the system will be supported. The implications for DINA of these changes was discussed. The ISC does not see any need to modify the current DINA strategy.
  9. Partner reports. The Copenhagen team now consists of only Martin, as Thomas has moved to the GBIF secretariat. Specify 7 has been implemented for the external institutions but not at the museum in Copenhagen. Edinburgh has decided to enter into a six-month test of Specify 7, which will involve migration of the herbarium data to this system. They are also discussing a possible DINA component in a Synthesys+ proposal with the coordinators at the Natural History Museum in London. Elspeth will send more information to the DINA ISC group. Berlin has implemented Specify 7 in a Docker container, which is available to other DINA partners.
  10. Any other business. No other business.
  11. Next meeting. Fredrik will send out a Doodle for a meeting in the first half of December.

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