This is a list of ongoing consultations carried out within the GBIF network and wider community. You'll find instructions on how to take part, read the submitted responses and look at how these consultations have been followed up and acted upon.

Following the closing date for each consultation, the GBIF Secretariat will review responses and develop a report and recommendations for next steps within four weeks of the response deadline.

Endorsement and evaluation of datasets within GBIF

This consultation is now closed. A report summarizing and analysing the responses is available here. You can view all responses here.

Following evaluation of the responses, the Secretariat will draw up a background report and proposals for decision at the 21st GBIF Governing Board meeting (GB21) in New Delhi, India in September 2014. 

This consultation beteen April and June 2014 gathered input on proposed changes to the processes for adding data publishers to the GBIF network and for assessing the fitness for use of datasets.

It fulfilled a commitment in the 2014 Work Programme to expand the model for endorsement of datasets, and to engage with expert communities in order to provide a richer assessment of the value of each dataset to potential users. 

In brief, the proposed changes were:

  • Any potential data publisher should be able to register with GBIF and submit datasets without the need for prior endorsement - such datasets would initially be 'unevaluated'.
  • GBIF Secretariat staff would monitor new datasets to detect attempts to abuse the infrastructure.
  • As datasets are indexed, they would undergo automated checks for standards compliance and data consistency, and the results would be included on dataset pages in the GBIF portal.
  • Relevant GBIF Participants, based on location and indications by the publisher, would be invited to review the dataset and provide an endorsement, if appropriate.
  • GBIF portal country pages would include a list of all datasets endorsed by a national Participant, as at present.
  • Additional pages would be developed to list all datasets endorsed by organisational Participants and affiliates, encouraging curation of data within areas of expertise.
  • Datasets may receive multiple endorsements from any number of Participants, and these would all be displayed on a dataset page, helping to evaluate fitness for use.
  • Further elements to assist such evaluation will be explored, including user comments and annotations on individual records, and use of datasets or records in research activities.
  • Filters would be developed to help users select or exclude datasets carrying different levels of endorsement, including unevaluated data.


Licensing of data within GBIF

This consultation is now closed. A report summarizing and analysing the responses is available here. You can view all responses here.

Following evaluation of the responses, the Secretariat will draw up a background report and proposals for decision at the 21st GBIF Governing Board meeting (GB21) in New Delhi, India in September 2014. 

Addressing the issue of data licensing, in a way that makes data as free from restrictions as possible, is essential to GBIF's mission of promoting free and open access to biodiversity data. In August 2013, the GBIF Secretariat conducted an initial consultation on options for change, proposing a more standardized approach to ensure that data users are aware of the terms under which datasets are published, and any restrictions that data holders may wish to apply to their re-use.

Between April and June 2014, the Secretariat requested feedback on a proposal with the following elements:

  • All data publishers through GBIF would be asked to agree to waive rights when publishing their data (through a Creative Commons CCO license or equivalent);
  • All data publishers and users would agree to follow 'publishing and usage norms', to be drawn up collaboratively with the GBIF community, for example following standard guidelines for data citation and defining what constitutes commercial use;
  • The GBIF data publishing process would be modified to allow data publishers to flag datasets they wish to restrict from commercial use, as defined in the norms.

The consultation invited views on whether respondents felt this was the right way to proceed, whether they foresaw substantial risks, and whether they would like to be involved in drawing up the documentation for this new approach to open data publishing through GBIF.