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Following a detailed evaluation, the BNHM-IST Steering Committee has decided to adopt CollectionSpace as the strategic platform for collections management systems for the BNHM consortium.  The evaluation is documented on the Partnership Wiki ( Management System Strategy and Selection).

In spring 2009, the BNHM-IST Partnership hosted site visits and demonstrations from three project teams: CollectionSpace, Arctos and Specify.  Over the summer, the project team identified the Functional, Business, and Technology/Architecture criteria that were important, and the BNHM-IST Steering Committee set the priorities and principles that would be needed to make a decision.  In fall 2009, the project team scored the options using a scorecard developed from the functional, business, and technology/architecture criteria.  Discussions were held with various parts of the community to confirm the approach and discuss the findings.  In December, the Steering Committee discussed the evaluation and made the decision to adopt CollectionSpace as the strategic platform for collections management systems.

A transition plan is now being developed that will cover transition plans for the next one to five years for each museum.  The Steering Committee, communicating with the BNHM-IST community and museum directors, will select the initial sequence of deployments.  Because CollectionSpace deployments will occur for non-BNHM museums as well, IST is identifying a set of decision-makers who can provide input regarding several other collections on campus.  The transition plan will also include a plan for addressing concerns and mitigating risks.

A collaboration plan is being developed that will help connect and collaborate between important platforms and initiatives in collections informatics (e.g., between Arctos and CollectionSpace).

In addition, a fund raising plan is being developed to identify how the BNHM-IST Partnership will fund deployment projects as well as ongoing support for collection management systems.  The Steering Committee is especially eager to find ways to collaborate with BNHM principal investigators as they prepare grant proposals that involve biodiversity informatics work. Also, we will continue and expand efforts to justify campus investment for campus collections.

Information about work activities taking place following this important decision (including plans for transition and deployments, collaboration, and fund raising) will be documented on the BNHM-IST Partnership Wiki ( Natural History Museum and IST Partnership).

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