Resources for GBIF Participant Nodes

GBIF Participant nodes are the keystone of GBIF implementation. They need to provide a wide array of services to make sure the Participants they represent can fully benefit from and contribute to GBIF. They interact daily with a great diversity of stakeholders, and they need to know how to serve their needs better, while ensuring good alignment with international standards and policies.

Resources of interest for Participant nodes are displayed in the sections below on two levels:

  • key resources, essential for a general overview of the most relevant topics for data holders and
  • additional resources, for those wanting to explore those topics in more detail.

The final section displays key documentation gaps identified for data holders that will be addressed through GBIF work programme activity.

Note: the tables below show a static view last updated the 13 August 2014. A dynamic version always showing the latest information available is expected to be in place by the end of 2014. 

Key resources

Key resources for nodes necessarily range across nearly every topic of relevance to GBIF. From basic introductions about the network and its work, to essential information about all the steps of the biodiversity data publishing cycle (including the more technical ones). Having access to information about the most recent advances and what is happening in GBIF at the international level is critical for them, as they are responsible for translating these into the national context, frequently through capacity enhancement and training activities.

  1. GBIF brochure 2012 edition, 2012
    This brochure is the first stop to get to know GBIF. It can also be used to promote the organization and its work among many different audiences. Essential for any Node manager and staff member!
    Resource available in EnglishFrench and Spanish.
  2. GBIF poster Corporate poster 2010 edition, 2010
    This document includes the basic messaging of GBIF, and can be used to promote the organization either as a poster or as a 1-page leaflet.
    Resource available in English, French and Spanish.
  3. GBIF.org Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Section, 2014
    This FAQ includes a section specifically addressed to nodes where their questions are answered in a concise, practical way.
  4. Presentation: The Global Biodiversity Information Facility, 2008
    This slide deck includes basic information about GBIF from many different points of view. A good resource to get an overview or explain what the network does in front of an audience.
  5. Establishing an Effective GBIF Participant Node, 2014
    This guide is specifically addressed to Node managers and staff members, and describes the main elements needed to set up a Node that can help a Participant to benefit from and to contribute to GBIF.
    Resource available in English. Two earlier documents about the establishment and staffing of GBIF Participant Nodes are available in French.
  6. Presentation: Roles and Importance of GBIF Participant Nodes, 2008
    This presentation summarizes the role of the node within a GBIF Participant, and why it is needed to coordinate GBIF activities in the country/organization.
  7. GBIF.org Participant pages, 2014
    Curious about the latest figures on data publication from your country and about your national biodiversity? About the latest scientific publications from your national institutions using data accessed through GBIF? Check the Participant pages of GBIF.org and always get the latest information available.
  8. GBIF Participant Node Management Course v 2 CD image, 2008 *
    This CD includes many resources about GBIF that can be useful for anyone working on a GBIF Node.
  9. Setting up a Participant Node coordinating unit: suggestions on structure and staff requirements, 2008
    This document provides specific recommendations on how to structure a Node, depending on the type of work envisaged for it. A good tool to help setting objectives to establish or strengthen a Node.
    Resource available in English a
  10. Getting Started: Overview of data publishing in the GBIF Network, 2011
    A short guide to the current options for data publishing through GBIF. It provides links to additional documentation. Perfect for node staff members that need to provide data holders with options on how to publish their data.
    Resource available in English, French and Spanish.
  11. Document map for publishing metadata, 2011
    This schema depicts the different options available for the publishing of biodiversity dataset metadata, and points to additional documentation for each option. A good, concise resource for those supporting biodiversity data publishing.
  12. Document map for publishing occurrence data, 2011
    This schema depicts the different options available for the publishing of biodiversity occurrence data, and points to additional documentation for each option. A good, concise resource for those supporting biodiversity data publishing.
  13. Document map for publishing taxonomic checklists, 2011
    This schema depicts the different options available for the publishing of names/taxonomic data, and points to additional documentation for each option. A good, concise resource for those supporting biodiversity data publishing.
  14. Presentation: GBIFS - Incentivising and strategising publishing of Biodiversity Data, 2011
    Participant nodes have a role in defining priorities and promoting targeted data publishing. This presentation describes some of the mechanisms that can be used to do it.
  15. GBIF.org Capacity Enhancement Section, 2014
    One of the strongest points of the GBIF network is the existing experience and capacity within its Participants. The capacity enhancement section of the GBIF.org site describes the mechanisms to exchange that capacity at the global level.
  16. GBIF.org Section on Global Data Trends, 2014
    This sections presents a summary of the current content being shared through the GBIF network. It can be used to get an impression on areas such as data coverage or data quality.
  17. GBIF Annual Report 2012, 2013
    Annual reports include all the highlights of the work done by GBIF at the global level. A good summary for anyone working in a GBIF Node, and a good mechanism to display Node achievements that have an impact in the community.
  18. Presentation GBIF Information update (ppt), 2014 (updated monthly)
    Don’t forget to check this slide deck for the latest update about GBIF membership and affiliations and data publishing and use trends.
  19. Gbits Newsletter, 2011
    The GBIF Newsletter is a perfect way of staying connected to what is happening in the network. Get your copy sent to your inbox by subscribing in GBIF.org!
  20. GBIF Developer Blog, 2009
    Those working on the technical side of GBIF nodes’ activity will find this blog an enjoyable way to stay up to date with the latest technical developments within the network.
  21. Video DQ01 Short introduction to biodiversity data quality and fitness-for-use, 2012
    This 7-minute video introduces many of the key concepts to take into account around quality when working with biodiversity data. Check the GBIF Vimeo channel for the rest of the videos in the same series.
  22. Video Launch of the new GBIF portal, 2013
    GBIF.org is the main gateway to access the biodiversity data published through the GBIF network. Get acquainted with the main characteristics of the new version launched in 2013 through this video.

The resources marked with an asterisk (*) treat the subjects in depth and are thus substantially longer documents. 

Additional resources

Additional resources for nodes include all sort of official documents that define GBIF work at the international level. It also includes detailed documents about key GBIF topics such as citation, intellectual property rights, incentives for data publishing and use, and strategic thinking.

  1. GBIF Strategic Plan 2012-2016 - Seizing the Future, 2011
    GBIF Strategic Plans set the general objectives to be achieved in 5-year periods. Node teams should be familiar with their content to fully benefit from GBIF and find ways to contribute to the common objectives defined there.
    Resource available in Chinese, English, French and Japanese.
  2. GBIF Work Programme 2014-2016, 2013 *
    Work Programmes describe the concrete implementation plans for GBIF for a given time period. Node managers should always have a copy at hand to check current commitments and expected delivery dates.
  3. GBIF Memorandum of Understanding 2012, 2011 *
    The GBIF MoU is the reference document that articulates the non-binding commitments made by a Participant when joining the network. It is good for Node managers and interested Nodes staff to always have a copy at hand in case of doubt about any point.
    Resource available in EnglishFrenchJapanesePortuguese and Spanish.
  4. Publishing and Registering Data with GBIF, 2011
    This document explains in more detail the process of publishing data online using GBIF, and in particular on how to register the information about the publisher and the dataset to be published. Nodes staff working with data publishing should be well acquainted with the information described here.
    Resource available in English, French and Spanish
  5. GBIF Training Manual 1: Digitisation of Natural History Collections Data, 2008 *
    This comprehensive publication by GBIF covers many aspects of high relevance for Node staff members. Read the chapters that are more closely related to your work and keep it close as a reference guide.
  6. GBIF Data Sharing Agreement, 2001
    This is the reference document for anyone considering or already publishing data through the GBIF network. Anyone working on data publishing in a GBIF Node should be familiar with these terms so they are well prepared for any discussions with (potential) data publishers.
  7. GBIF Data Use Agreement, 2001
    All use of data obtained via GBIF must be in accordance with the GBIF data use agreement. Any staff member promoting the use of data should be well acquainted with the contents of this agreement.
  8. GBIF IPT v 2 User Manual, 2011 *
    Technical staff involved in the installation and the maintenance of instances of the IPT will find this guide a useful support.
    Resource available in English and Spanish.
  9. Quality assurance and Intellectual Property Rights in advancing biodiversity data publication, 2012*
    Publishing data on the internet raises many questions regarding intellectual property rights and the responsibilities of the publishers regarding data quality. Node staff members in charge of interacting with the publishers can find more information about these issues in this document.
  10. Towards a Global Strategy and Action Plan for Discovery and Publishing of Natural History Collections Data, 2010 *
    This document tackles the issue of targeted mobilization of data from natural history collections, from assessing the needs to delivering results. Those involved in designing this kind of strategy can find inspiration in this document.
  11. Data citation in the electronic environment, 2008 *
    Citation is a key element in the way the GBIF network works. Data publishers make their datasets available freely and openly and they expect to be properly cited in return. This document discusses how to do it properly.
  12. The data paper: a mechanism to incentivize data publishing in biodiversity science, 2011 *
    The data paper is one of the new mechanisms that can be useful in convincing data holders to publish their data on the internet. Any Node staff wishing to discuss this approach with (potential) data publishers will find this introduction to the concept useful.
  13. Biodiversity Informatics Training website, 2012 *
    This website includes videos recorded from many courses on biodiversity informatics related topics held around the world. Many of them are relevant for GBIF staff members.
  14. Conservation Training website, 2011 *
    Those working in a GBIF Node will find themselves using a wide array of skills. This website offers online training in many fields, some of which can be useful for Nodes.
  15. Global Biodiversity Informatics Outlook: Delivering Biodiversity Knowledge in the Information Age, 2013 *
    This document gives a good overview of the landscape of biodiversity informatics and a framework for concentrating future efforts. A reference document for node staff members who would like to see how their work fit in the bigger picture.
  16. Best practice guide for Data Discovery and Publishing Strategy and Action Plans, 2010 *
    This document tackles the issue of targeted mobilization of data from a project management point of view, from assessing the needs to delivering results. Those involved in designing this kind of strategies can find inspiration in this document.
  17. GBIF Review 2009 From Prototype to Full Operation Managing Expectations, 2009 *
    This is the latest general review of GBIF operations carried out. It is probably best checked in combination with the latest annual reports.

The resources marked with an asterisk (*) treat the subjects in depth and are thus substantially longer documents. 

Documentation gaps

The resources listed below were identified as critical documentation gaps which are relevant for GBIF nodes as part of the documentation gaps analysis mentioned above. Please follow the instructions in the document if you would like to join the common effort of filling these gaps.

  1. Summary of the benefits and implications of publishing via GBIF
    Brief document summarizing the different benefits and implications of publishing data on the web using GBIF: increased visibility, credit, processing feedback on quality, communication with data users, etc.
    This documentation is required at least in English, French and Spanish.
  2. Basic introduction to the management and curation of biodiversity data
    This text will discuss the potential and limitations of biodiversity data and how to manage, transform and improve them.
    This documentation is required at least in English, French and Spanish.
  3. Introduction to regional engagement for GBIF Nodes and delegates
    Several areas of GBIF work have been supported through regional groups and mechanisms since 2008. This guide will help GBIF delegates and Nodes to fully participate in and benefit from these structures.
    This documentation is required at least in English, French and Spanish.
  4. Handbook for Node managers *
    Practical guide covering all the major tasks of a Node manager, structured by thematic areas. It includes references to the services & tools available to assist the managers in each task.
    This documentation is required at least in English.
  5. Basic slide deck to present GBIF
    Many GBIF stakeholders see themselves in the position to present and represent GBIF in different fora. A comprehensive, updated slide deck can be of great help in those occasions.
    This documentation is required at least in English.
  6. GBIF informatics overview: how to apply them to a GBIF Participant *
    Schematic overview of the GBIF informatics infrastructure and of ways to implement it by a GBIF Participant, from the most simple to the most complex setups.
    This documentation is required at least in English.
  7. Short guide on how to cite GBIF and GBIF-mediated data usage
    A very short reference guide that helps those wanting to comply with citation requirements before publishing work derived from GBIF-mediated data. From 2015 on, it should include the use of DOIs.
    This documentation is required at least in English.
  8. Basic guide on sources of biodiversity data and data capture planning *
    This general level guide aims at describing the potential sources of different kinds of primary biodiversity data and methods for data capture (e.g. selection of standards and tools).
    This documentation is required at least in English.
  9. Improved support for users of the data section of GBIF.org
    The GBIF.org website has expanded in the  functionality offered to its users. This resource will introduce new users to the various ways to use the site (format still to be decided).
    This documentation is required at least in English, French and Spanish.
  10. Inventory of the different ways of accessing GBIF mediated data
    The GBIF API opens countless possibilities for tools and data portals to interact and access data published via GBIF. This document aims to describe the main options available.
    This documentation is required at least in English.
  11. Overview of data analysis techniques available
    This document aims to be an inventory of the different techniques used to analyse biodiversity data, independently of the thematic area targeted.
    This documentation is required at least in English.
  12. Guide on how to organize capacity enhancement actions *
    Many Nodes have in their mandates to organize training and capacity building within their communities to facilitate GBIF implementation. This guide will help them to be effective in this task.
    This documentation is required at least in English.
  13. Guide on how to address social barriers to data publishing *
    Much of  the resistance that data holders oppose to publishing their data online is based on misconceptions or misunderstandings of what the process implies. This guide target those myths.
    This documentation is required at least in English.
  14. Guide on how to address social barriers to data use *
    In the world of potential data users, there is still many misconceptions about the nature and use potential of biodiversity data. This guide will try to set realistic expectations on this area.
    This documentation is required at least in English.
  15. Interpreted organization chart of GBIF
    This brief resource explains the different elements of the GBIF governance and how they interact.
    This documentation is required at least in English, French and Spanish.
  16. Documentation on the adaptation of ALA tools to create national portals (Work Programme 2015 commitment)
    The GBIF WP2015 includes plans to enable the adaptation of different tools produced by the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) to generate data portal. This covers the documentation of that process.
    This documentation is required at least in English.
  17. Guide on how to engage communities around biodiversity informatics *
    One of the roles of GBIF Nodes is to engage different communities that are part of the BIF towards achieving the objectives of the Participant within GBIF. This guide should help them in this task.
    This documentation is required at least in English.
  18. Brief summary of all GBIF partnerships and their nature
    GBIF is involved in many partnerships and it can be difficult to follow which areas of collaboration are included in each partnership. There should be a single place where this information can be found.
    This documentation is required at least in English.
  19. Summary of uses of GBIF and GBIF-mediated data in policy
    This document should summarize generic ways of using GBIF to address policy issues (including use cases), without going into detail on the technical aspects of such uses.
    This documentation is required at least in English.