Bioma's Overall Description BioMa Biodiversity data Manager PDF Print E-mail

BioMa Overall Description

What is BioMa?

BioMa is a specimen based Biodiversity database Manager. It is designed to store, organize, and manipulate biodiversity-related scientific data, either for the purposes of museums, scientific collections, or research projects.

Whom is BioMa designed to?

BioMa is designed to all sorts of scientific research on biodiversity, from taxonomy to ecology. BioMa intends do ease the work of data storage and retrieval for taxonomists, museum curators, field ecologists, and alike. Since today's scientific world is heavily linked to thesis supervision, BioMa is designed to ease cooperative work run in research labs by Principal Investigators and their team.


BioMa aims
  • to manage biodiversity data in a structured, hierarchical way, avoiding at maximum to record information in text form. Instead, info is registered in variables, so that it is easily recoverable.
  • to manage information so that it can be recovered either in its original context or in the light of new approaches.
  • to enable data storage and retrieval by research teams a cooperative process.
  • to standardize and centrally store data produced by research labs
Whereas structuring data in hierarchical fashion, BioMa should keep the process of entering data as simple and intuitive as possible, mirroring the field data collection rationale itself.

How to accomplish this?

To accomplish the above goals, BioMa stores data in an hierarchical fashion, starting from the specimen level and proceeding to collections (=groups of specimens), projects (=groups of collections) and programs (=groups of projects). The traditional ``local-date-collector" paradigm is kept as the core of specimen data. All specimens must be associated to at least these three information.

Hierarchies are, in fact, the soul of BioMa. Locals, rather than being simply referenced by a ``toponym", belong to a geographical hierarchy in the form:


Continent : Country : Region : Municipality : Place : SubPlace

This should allow data collected in two distinct projects to be retrieved together in respect to that specific sublocality, thereby potentially enhanced the quality/quantity of information about that toponym. Subdivisions below Municipalities are left at user's discretion.

Similarly, taxonomic data are stored hierarchically, obeying the traditional


Kingdom : Phylum : Class : Order : Family : Genus : Species

but allowing the inclusion of lower levels such as:

...: Species : Morphotype : SubMorphotype : ...




...: Species : Sex : Age...




...: Species : Stadium...


or even


...: Species : Halotype...
This should allow, for instance, the storage of information about specimens that are still under study and have not yet received formal, definitive identification. It may also allow to correctly organize specimens that are juveniles or hold a specific DNA type. Subdivisions below Species are left at user's discretion.

Collections are defined as a group of specimens sharing the same ``local-date-collector" information. Collections are, too, hierarchical. However, their hierarchy must be flexible enough to allow ordering from each of its three components. Therefore, collections can be classified by



Local : Date : Collector




Local : Collector : Date




Date : Local : Collector




Date : Collector : Local




Collector : Local : Date




Collector : Date : Local


Projects are a group of collections sharing the same data gathering rationale (a method, a hypothesis, etc...). Projects may therefore, be organized as:



Project : SubProject : Collection : Specimen...




Project : Hypothesis : Collection : Specimen...




Project : Method : Collection : Specimen...
Subdividions in between ``Project'' and ``Collection'' are left at the user's discretion.
Projects can be nested within projects, therefore creating subprojects.

Project : Subproject...

About this document ...

BioMa Overall Description

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