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My-Plant.org (My-Plant) is a social networking portal for the Plant Sciences community. As part of the iPlant Collaborative, My-Plant is charged with the goal of bringing together scientists, students, educators, and other interested parties by providing a new approach to connecting with others in the plant sciences thereby helping to spark new collaborations and communication among them. Many social networking sites exist where users can form groups and communicate, but the group structure is flat and has no inherent interconnectivity. My-Plant connects users via branches (called clades) of the phylogenetic tree of green plants, thus creating a unique, phylogenetically based social network structure. My-Plant users can join clades at any level of the tree and collaborate with other users interested in these clades. My-Plant is built upon the Drupal open source content management system. This paper discusses My-Plant in detail, its concept and contributions to the iPlant Collaborative, its implementation details, and its efforts to become an information hub for the plant sciences community. In addition, the paper focuses on some of the technology challenges, lessons learned, and future work of My-Plant.
Gateway Computing Environments Workshop (GCE), 2010
Date of Conference: 14-14 Nov. 2010