TraitBank: Practical semantics for organism attribute data

Tracking #: 1146-2358

Cynthia Sims Parr
Katja S Schulz
Jennifer Hammock
Nathan Wilson1
Patrick Leary1
Jeremy Rice
Robert J. Corrigan, Jr.

Responsible editor: 
Pascal Hitzler

Submission type: 
Tool/System Report
Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) has developed TraitBank (, a new repository for organism attribute (trait) data. TraitBank aggregates, manages and serves attribute data for organisms across the tree of life, including life history characteristics, habitats, distributions, ecological relationships and other data types. We describe how TraitBank ingests and manages these data in a way that leverages EOL’s existing infrastructure and semantic annotations to facilitate reasoning across the TraitBank corpus and interoperability with other resources. We also discuss TraitBank’s impact on users and collaborators and the challenges and benefits of our lightweight, scalable approach to the integration of biodiversity data.
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