The i4Life Project (Indexing for Life) is to create a Virtual Research Community that will develop and harmonise the various species catalogues used by six of the world’s global biodiversity programmes using the Catalogue of Life as a yardstick. One of the great issues in biodiversity science is how to synthesize a comprehensive view of the entire biodiversity to better understand how it functions, and to model and forecast how it will respond to major anthropogenic pressures. Harmonising the differing catalogues of species is a crucial part of this synthesis and has enormous practical significance in indexing the knowledge needed to protect biodiversity. Six ‘global biodiversity programmes’, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the European Nucleotide Archive (part of INSDC), the Barcode of Life initiatives, the IUCN Red List, the new LifeWatch programme, and the Encyclopedia of Life, join in this project with the Catalogue of Life to initiate this harmonisation and to explore the full extent of species surveyed in the different programmes. The target is to enable each programme to enhance its catalogue with the assistance of the others, and to create a harmonised list for the entire set of organisms.
- i4Life’s principal goal is to establish the Virtual Research Community that will interlink and harmonise the global taxonomic catalogues presently developed by each of the global partners. The existing Catalogue of Life will be used as a yardstick.
- The project aims to allow gap analysis in our knowledge and to facilitate communication among scientists and among all people with an interest in life on earth.
- It will enable each global partners programme to enhance its catalogue with the assistance of the others, and to create a harmonised list for the entire set of organisms.
- It for the first time will provide a summary of all species known across global partner’s programmes.
- It will create a global standard for taxonomic data integration in electronic infrastructures world-wide.