Plazi GmbH



Plazi GmbH is a service SME owned by the Swiss based not for profit Plazi Verein, supporting and promoting the development of persistent and openly accessible digital taxonomic literature. Plazi Verein was founded in 2008 by participants as a spin off from a US National Science Foundation/German Science Foundation (DFG) binational research award to investigate the extraction of data from legacy taxonomic literature to current taxonomic literature. Plazi GmbH has been founded to provide services, training and consulting in the domain of digitization, open access publishing and access to taxonomy related published content. Its Mediawiki based Biowikifarm provides users a long term platform to build sites for projects in biology and especially biodiversity research. Examples are Species-ID, Pest Information Wiki, and GBIF-TDWG Vocabulary Task Group. The Encyclopedia of Life and GBIF are users of Plazi provided treatment based data.


The members of Plazi are leading experts in the field of biology, information technology, digital libraries, Mediawiki, publishing and copyright law. Plazi fostered the creation of technologies to digitize, enhance, and link taxonomic literature in order to maximize interoperability and its reuse. Products are the XML schemas TaxonX, the TaxPub extension to the NLM/JATS Publishing DTD (with assistance from the US National Center for Biotechnology Information), Implementation of the Tapir transfer protocol for observation data to GBIF, GoldenGATE markup tool and the Plazi treatment repository. Plazi provides legal analyses of scientific work and respective laws. 


  • Develop and provide access to biodiversity content from the published scientific record
  • develop data standards and exchange protocols
  • develop the legal framework for data publishing and dissemination
  • explore ways to involve citizen science to mobilize biodiversity data


WP 1 Data sources: requirements, gap analysis and data mobilization
WP 2 Data integration and interoperability
WP 3 Improving tools and methods for data analysis and interface
WP 8 Dissemination and outreach


  • Pro-iBiosphere
  • European Journal of Taxonomy
  • Vibrant
  • EOL


Dr. Donat Agosti 
  • Coordinator for Plazi, data extraction from scientific publication
  • Director Plazi GmbH and president, Plazi Verein, biologist
  • Professional interests: Taxonomy, conservation and access to scientific content
Dr. Willi Egloff  
  • Policy and legal policy issues for EU-BON
  • Director Plazi GmbH and member of Board, Plazi Verein, attorney
  • Professional interests: Information policy, legal issues related to copyright and neighbouring rights
Terance H. Catapano  
  • Data standards and transfer protocols, development of Eco-Taxpub
  • Vice-president Plazi Verein, librarian
  • Professional interests: library data standards (e.g. METS, EAD, EAC-CPF, Taxpub, TaxonX)
Dr. Gregor Hagedorn 
  • Involvement of citizen scientists
  • Head Biowikifarm, Plazi, biologist
  • Professional interests: biodiversity information modelling, computer aided identification, citizen science



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flag big This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 308454.