Resources for data publishers

Biodiversity data holders are key actors who can directly contribute to advancing GBIF’s mission. Expressing in compelling terms the importance of and benefits from sharing biodiversity in suitable formats and under clear conditions is a critical communication need for GBIF. For data holders to go through the process of publishing their data swiftly, they need the support of the network of Participant nodes along with with a set of key resources that can help them to understand better the technical process and the impacts of data publishing.

Resources of interest for biodiversity data holders 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 were last updated 13 August 2014. A dynamic display of resources available for data holders is expected to  by the end of 2014. 

Key resources

The essential resources for data holders include overviews of the data publishing process and the options available depending on the type of data to be published. When considering publishing biodiversity data on the web, there are some key concepts to understand, such as data quality and fitness for use, and the need to adequately describe datasets.

  1. 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 identifying the best option for publishing data through GBIF.
    Available in English, French and Spanish.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 7-step guide to data publication by Canadensys, 2012.
    This basic guide can help data publishers to go through the process of data publishing using the GBIF IPT by following a series of simple steps.
    Available in English, French and Spanish.
  6. Video DQ01 Short introduction to biodiversity data quality and fitness-for-use, 2012.
    This 7-minute video introduces many of the key concepts relating to data quality to take into account when working with biodiversity data. Check the GBIF Vimeo channel for the other short videos in this series.
  7. Presentation GBIFS - Incentivising and strategising publishing of Biodiversity Data, 2011.
    This presentation introduces some of the potential benefits of publishing data through the GBIF network.
  8. GBIF Training Manual 1: Digitisation of Natural History Collections Data, 2008. *
    This comprehensive publication by GBIF covers many aspects highly relevant to data publishers. Read the chapters that are more closely related to your work and keep it close as a reference guide.
  9. GBIF Metadata Profile How-to guide, 2011. *
    Adequately describing a biodiversity dataset  greatly increases its chances to be discovered and used once it is published online. This document helps data publishers to write good metadata for their datasets.
  10. Publishing Species Checklists Step-by-Step Guide, 2011. *
    This guide specifically targets those wishing to publish nomenclatural and taxonomic information.
  11. GBIF.org Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Section, 2014.
    This FAQ includes a section specifically addressed to data publishers where their questions are answered in a concise, practical way.

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

Additional resources

Those data publishers seeking more detailed information should consult the official documents where the data publishing conditions are spelled, such as the GBIF data sharing agreement. They must have the opportunity to study in detail some of the most recent mechanisms to benefits from publishing data online, such as the data papers. Some of them may actually want to get involved in more technical aspects related to standards and software. The selection of documents below cover many of those aspects.

  1. GBIF Data Sharing Agreement, 2001
    This reference document explains the conditions that are agreed to when publishing data through the GBIF network.
  2. Publishing and Registering Data with GBIF, 2011
    This document explains in detail the process of publishing data online through GBIF, and the specific steps to register information about the publisher and the dataset to be published.
    Available in English, French and Spanish.
  3. Pensoft data publishing policies and guidelines for biodiversity data, 2011
    This comprehensive document explains the process of composing a data paper for submission together with the corresponding data to one of the Pensoft journals.
  4. GBIF IPT v. 2 User Manual, 2014 *
    This is a complete guide on how to install, configure and manage an instance of the GBIF Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT).
    Available in English and Spanish
  5. Darwin Core Archive Assistant User Guide, 2011 *
    This guide explains how the Darwin Core Archive Assistant can be used to support biodiversity data publishing in the most simple way: through spreadsheet templates available in different languages.
  6. 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.This paper provides information on these issues.
  7. 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 biodiversity data publishers.
  8. Guidelines for the capture and management of digital zoological names information, 2012 *
    This guide addresses many issues encountered when applying rigorous nomenclatural and taxonomic criteria to biodiversity data. It focuses on zoological names only.
  9. Name validation in Open Refine: a tutorial, 2013
    This guide helps data publishers perform data quality checks on the scientific names in their datasets before publishing them online.

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

Documentation gaps

The following resources have been  identified as critical documentation gaps for biodiversity data holders as part of GBIF documentation gaps analysis. 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, 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 how to manage, transform and improve them.
  3. 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, French and Spanish.
  4. 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.
  5. Guide on how to address social barriers to data publishing *
    Much of  the resistance to publishing data online is based on misconceptions or misunderstandings of the process and its implications. This guide will target those myths.
    This documentation is required at least in English.

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