Senckenberg Research Institute and Museum, Frankfurt

Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem


TDWG 2000: Digitising Biological Collections
Taxonomic Databases Working Group, 16th Annual Meeting
Senckenberg Museum, Frankfurt, Germany, November 10-12, 2000


Suhua Shi* & Mingguang Li*

Recent development of biological data bases in China

* Zhongshan University, Guangzhou 510275, People's Republic of China


Over the past two decades the international biological community has been actively databasing natural history collections and making the information universally available. However, the significance of TDWG and the need for standards has not been well realized in China. Currently there are a number of database projects in China, such as the Chinese Biodiversity Information System (CBIS, 1998), Animal Taxonomic Information System, CAI (ATIS 1999), Plant Taxonomic Information System, CERN (PTIS 4.4, 2000) and so on. All work in this area is still at a basic and non-standardized level. 
The major databasing work in biology in China is under the control of two government agencies: the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Department of Education. The biological taxonomic information systems of the Chinese Academy of Sciences include the efforts of more than 14 institutes, which are widely distributed throughout the country. Some progress has been made in three different areas: botany, zoology and microbiology. The earliest taxonomic databasing work in China was started in Zhongshan (Sun Yatsen) University, National Department of Education, in 1994. Zhongshan University, Sichuan United University and Northeastern Normal University are currently experimental units for taxonomic information systems. Facilities for databasing activities in most universities and colleges, however, are nonexistent. The most important factors for the further development of taxonomic databases and standardization in China are the availability of funding and recognition of the importance of biological databases by those in a position of leadership.


TDWG | Participants | Presentations | Senckenberg Museum | BGBM Biodiversity Informatics

This meeting was co-sponsored by the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) 

Page editor: W. Berendsohn, BGBM 2000.