SWIFT Description Parser: a Software Tool for Rapid Species

SWIFT Description Parser: a Software Tool for  Rapid Species Description through Natural Language Parsing
Developers: CBIT
Project leaders: Shaun L. Winterton, Mathew Taylor
Senior Programmer: Damian Barnier

Summary

Earth’s undescribed biodiversity is immense but our ability to document these undescribed species is threatened by a taxonomic impediment caused by a lack of taxonomic resources and inherent aspects of the descriptive process. We are developing a easy-to-use software application (SWIFT Description Parser) to alleviate some of the tedious components of describing species. This software uses natural language parsing to extract character states from taxonomic descriptions and generate character matrices in standard descriptive data (SDD) format for use in interactive keys and for generating taxonomic monographs automatically. Adoption of SWIFT Description Parser as part of routine taxonomic studies will dramatically increase the productively of taxonomists describing the world’s undescribed biota by significantly increasing the rate of description. Continue reading