The PLANKTON*NET data provider at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research is an open access repository for plankton-related information. It covers all types of phytoplankton and zooplankton from marine and freshwater areas. PLANKTON*NET's greatest strength is its comprehensiveness as for the different taxa image information as well as taxonomic descriptions can be archived. PLANKTON*NET also contains a glossary with accompanying images to illustrate the term definitions. PLANKTON*NET therefore presents a vital tool for the preservation of historic data sets as well as the archival of current research results.
Because interoperability with international biodiversity data providers (e.g. GBIF) is one of our aims, the architecture behind the new planktonnet@awi repository is observation centric and allows for mulitple assignment of assets (images, references, animations, etc) to any given observation. In addition, images can be grouped in sets and/or assigned tags to satisfy user-specific needs . Sets (and respective images) of relevance to the scientific community and/or general public have been assigned a persistant digital object identifier (DOI) for the purpose of long-term preservation (e.g. set ""Plankton*Net celebrates 50 years of Roman Treaties"", handle: 10013/de.awi.planktonnet.set.495)"