Our overall objective is centered around developing standards and applications that substantially contribute to a solution to the Linguistic Problem of Morphology (LPM), which will consequently enable morphology to take part in eScience. The key objectives (O), each of which is assigned to a specific work package (WP), therefore concern the development of eScience-compliant standards for improving the overall sustainability, accessibility, and usability of morphological data and media contents and the development of three new modules for Morph·D·Base. The modules will allow entering of (1) morphological data and (2) taxonomic descriptions using ontology-dependent and eScience-compliant standards for morphological data and taxonomic description and (3) entering morphological media contents with standardized ontology-dependent annotations. All entered contents will be sustainably stored, archived, shared and disseminated and will be ready for re-use for all kinds of investigations. Since the contents will be highly standardized and formalized, they will also become more accessible to non-experts, which will facilitate interdisciplinary studies and significantly improve the reputation of morphology within the biological community. For the development of the three modules we will follow a user-centered-design (UCD) approach that is closely tied to the continuous input of four Use Case Studies and to the development of eScience-compliant standards.
The four Use Case Studies will play a central role in our project. They are involved in the development of standards and the development of the graphical user interface (GUI) of the new modules in Morph·D·Base. They will throughout the development phase continuously test the usability of the GUI and the functionality of prototypes. Moreover, the studies will exemplarily exploit the specific usability of Morph·D·Base and its three new modules for (i) comparative morphology, (ii) making morphological data and raw data accessible to non-morphologists, and for (iii) contributing to eTaxonomy and the digitization of natural history museum collections. We first describe the four Use Case Studies, each of which is represented by one project applicant, before we describe the key objectives (O1-O10) of our project.