The Openkey project (a.k.a. The Illinois - North Carolina Collaborative Environment for Botanical Resources) seeks to revolutionize access to botanical resources by creating polyclave plant keys that incorporate the methods botanists use to identify plant species, as well as simplify and visualize the process of identification. This project is supported by a partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH)  

The project's major goals include creating two polyclave keys that will visually capture the way botanical experts identify species; teaching and observing nonprofessionals in using these keys for species identification; enlisting community citizens in documenting selected plant habitats via PrarieWatch and ForestWatch in Illinois and Wildflower and TreeWatch in North Carolina; and producing an information store of high-quality botanical images that support species identification. The design of the project provides a framework that will foster scientific learning by citizen scientists who want to assist in documenting plant habits necessary for monitoring changes in the environment. The polyclave keys with data gathered by citizen scientists will be made available to other libraries and museums throughout the World Wide Web after development and testing.

This site will house the UNC-CH polyclave key. Creation of this key is a collaboration between the UNC-CH School of Information and Library Science, the UNC-CH Department of Biology, the UNC Herbarium, and the North Carolina Botanical Garden.




Interactive Tree
Funded By:
Link to IMLS
Link to Botnet
Link to PIC