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Project personnel and their roles

Department of Entomology, The Natural History Museum, London, UK

Malcolm Scoble and Gaden Robinson were responsible for managing the NHM's part of the VIADOCS project. Together with Andy Downton and Simon Lucas (University of Essex), they devised the VIADOCS project and secured funding for it in 1999 from the BBSRC/EPSRC Bioinformatics Initiative. In 2001, Malcolm and Gaden obtained a grant from the NHM's Collections Database Board Data-Capture Project which enabled the remaining Lepidoptera index cards to be scanned (the pyraloid cards had been scanned during the VIADOCS project) and in 2003 Malcolm secured a grant from the European Network for Biodiversity Information (ENBI) project which enabled the Bombycoidea, Cossoidea, Geometroidea and Noctuoidea cards to be made available in LepIndex. In February 2003 Malcolm obtained a grant from Species 2000 europa ('EuroCat') which will fund the work necessary to link LepIndex to Species 2000.

George Beccaloni was employed on the BBSRC/EPSRC grant to the NHM and subsequently on a 4 month grant from the NHM. He designed and programmed the VIADOCS Nomenclatural Database System, added data to and corrected data in the VIADOCS database, compiled specialist dictionaries for the OCR engine, supervised the scanning of the non-pyraloid cards and the checking of OCR results, supervised the typing of information from electronic images of the non-pyraloid cards, designed the LepIndex website (with Mike Sadka), and wrote much of the text which appears on this Website. George is now a curator in the NHM Entomology Department and part of his time is spent supervising work on LepIndex, and editing and enhancing the data in the VIADOCS database.

Brian Pitkin advised on database design, helped with IT problems, produced dictionaries for the OCR engine, and provided data from his and Paul Jenkins' online Butterflies & Moths of the World: Generic Names & their Type-species database.

Mike Sadka designed (with George Beccaloni) and programmed the LepIndex website, and provided technical advice about Microsoft Access.

Alessandro Giusti worked part time with Gillian Watson for 6 months funded by a grant from ENBI and during this period he entered data from Bombycoidea, Cossoidea, Geometroidea, and Noctuoidea cards into the VIADOCS database. Alessandro was then employed on a grant from NHM Special Funds for 52 days to enter data from butterfly cards, and following this he was employed for 66 days from three grants from the NHM Entomology Department's Departmental Research Funds to enter data from all the remaining cards (30 superfamilies).

Gillian Watson worked part time with Alessandro Giusti for 6 months funded by a grant from ENBI and during this period she entered information from Bombycoidea, Cossoidea, Geometroidea, and Noctuoidea cards into the VIADOCS database. Gillian was then employed on a grant from NHM Special Funds for 18 days to enter data from butterfly cards.

Clare Stringer was employed for 3 months in 2001 on a grant from the NHM's Data-Capture Project. She scanned all the Lepidoptera index cards except for the pyraloid cards, and checked and corrected the scientific names of pyraloids in the VIADOCS database which had been read from the card images using OCR.

Shayleen James checked and corrected the author names and dates of publication of the pyraloid names which had been read from the card images using OCR.

Jade Spence (volunteer) typed all the information from the Thyridoidea (minus the Charideinae) index cards into the VIADOCS database in 2001.

Ian Kitching and Thomas Simonsen (Lepidoptera Researchers, Department of Entomology) obtained funding from the NHM Short Term Posts for 12 months salary costs. They also devised the updating protocol, supervised data input, monitored data quality and interpreted difficult taxonomic issues.

Justin Ollerenshaw was employed on the 4D4Life and Species2000 grant. He added data to the current name fields for the Noctuoidea, Geometroidea and the butterflies.

Peter Wing was employed on the NHM Short Term Posts grant. He added data to the current name fields for the remaining taxa (i.e. Bombycoidea, Microlepidoptera and miscellaneous families).

Adrian Hine (Systems & Data Manager, Department of Entomology) provided data management technical support for the project and was responsible for administrative-level data management tasks. He also transformed the dataset into the ITIS data model for easier exchange to other data systems.

Chris Lyal (Coleoptera Researcher, Department of Entomology) obtained funding from 4D4Life and Species2000 for nine months salary and support costs.

Department of Electronic Systems Engineering, University of Essex, Colchester, Essex, UK

Andy Downton and Simon Lucas managed the University of Essex's work on the VIADOCS project and supervised students working on computer-based techniques to analyse images of index cards and other documents. Together with Malcolm Scoble and Gaden Robinson, they devised the VIADOCS project and secured funding for it from the BBSRC/EPSRC Bioinformatics Initiative. Simon designed and programmed OCR algorithms used to read information from the index card images.

Andy Tams was employed on the BBSRC/EPSRC grant to the University of Essex. He scanned the pyraloid index cards and worked on the OCR analysis of these cards as well as other aspects of the project.

Grigoris Patoulas replaced Andy Tams when he left the project in 2001. Grigoris worked on the OCR analysis of the index card images and other aspects of the project.

Arran Holmes designed and programmed the scanner interface software as part of an undergraduate project in 2001.

Eiki Ishidera developed the algorithm used for most of the OCR analysis of the index card images.

Viadocs projectWritten by George Beccaloni Feb. 2003. Last updated 13-Oct-2004