Wednesday, 6 December 2017

BioGaps Transcribe prize winner for November

The BioGaps top transcriber for the period October to November has been selected:
Well done and a big thank you to Latoya Keebine (once again) who transcribed 65 specimen label images!

As a prize she has selected the book "Identification guide to the southern African grasses. An identification manual with keys, descriptions and distributions".

Latoya has this to say about her transcribing experiences:

My experiences transcribing by Galaletsang Latoya Keebine, Science Education Engagement Intern
I began transcribing to expand my knowledge on various plant names and to help ensure that scientists, including future ones, have a digital platform which they can use for referrals and reference materials. Plant taxonomy was one of my majors for my BSc. in Biology and Geography from North-West University.

Thus I was mostly familiar with trees and grasses of the savanna biome. Prior to me transcribing, my ability to identify plants in the field was somewhat limited to those plants in the arid savanna. Transcribing has now given me the ability to identify plants which I previously wouldn’t have known.

My transcribing journey did not start off as an easy one. The first few records which I transcribed, I did completely incorrectly. The hand written labels on the other hand were also not very easy to decipher, so you can imagine my constant looks of confusion each time I across them. For that reason I was steadfast to solely transcribing the typed labels in the beginning. Luckily for me, Dr Silvia Kirkman validated some of my transcribed records, and gave me much needed tips on how to transcribe. These tips ensured that I transcribe with more accuracy and ease, so I also began transcribing the hand written species labels.

I spare a couple of hours to transcribe a week, hence I am surprised that I am once again the top transcriber. It is evident that just a few hours make the biggest difference. I will continue to transcribe to ensure that the digital herbarium does become a success.

Well done Latoya!

There will be more prizes given for the top transcribers at the end of January 2018 and end of March 2018. The winners will be announced shortly after the end of each period. Prizes can include books, National Botanical Garden entries, and Kirstenbosch Summer Concert tickets.

We appreciate all the valuable assistance provided by the Transcribe volunteers! Anyone anywhere can become involved. To join this fun activity, go toTranscribe:

BioGaps digitisers are working hard every day imaging hundreds of plant specimens and their labels. We need all the help we can get in transcribing these records. There are also many bee and grasshopper specimen labels that require transcribing.

The Transcribe platform helps us fill in gaps in biodiversity knowledge for our precious Karoo region. This information will help guide future conservation and development activities (e.g. shale gas exploration) in the Karoo.