The Working Group on SmartDots Governance (WGSMART) is devoted to overseeing and advising on the improvements needed to make SmartDots, a fully functional tool for age reading and maturity staging exchanges, workshops and training exercises. In 2019, WGSMART facilitated and supported the further development of SmartDots, most importantly, the addition of a new maturity staging module which will be available in early 2020. In September 2019, SmartDots v.2 was released. New features, such as an onscreen measuring tool and otolith edge type descriptor were included, both of which can be used to support otolith and fish growth studies. Existing features related to user progress and access to support have been made more user-friendly. In terms of quality assurance, an updated otolith reading quality grading scale was implemented for all age readings. While additional efforts focused on upgrading the reporting module r-scripts, updating user manuals and planning the video tutorials for training.
In 2019, WGSMART also focused on planning for the future development of SmartDots, including potential, larger scale projects fulfilling end user requests. WGSMART envisions the streamlining of SmartDots with other data systems within the ICES community and will continuously work towards this in cooperation with other expert and Regional Coordination Groups. Various scenarios for a training workshop were also discussed following a request from end users in the ICES Working Group on Biological Parameters (WGBIOP).
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