Terms and processes for hosted portal applications

Application process

  1. The programme is open to applications at any time.
  2. Applications must be made in English using the application form.
  3. Applications can be made by either:
    a. A GBIF node manager
    b. A representative of an institution, or group of institutions, that publish data via GBIF
  4. Node managers can also submit applications on behalf of groups within the node community, such as those focused on a particular data type or taxonomic group. Thematic groups can also apply via a lead applicant from an institution that publishes data via GBIF. Nodes and institutions may submit multiple applications for different portals.
  5. National portals will be restricted to GBIF Participants to ensure that the programme strengthens the membership model of GBIF.

Selection criteria

Priority will be given to applications from (or endorsed by) GBIF Participant nodes of Voting Participants, followed by institutions in Voting Participant countries, and finally applications from other GBIF Participant nodes.

Applications will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  1. Alignment with the GBIF mission and values, as hosted portals are a service for the GBIF community.
  2. Clearly defined user community and purpose. The proposed portal should help GBIF-mediated data to reach new users, should serve a well-defined purpose for identified user communities, and must avoid confusion with existing portals.
  3. Relevance of the data to be served through the portal, remembering that hosted portals are designed for data that is already published through GBIF and that this should be a match with the needs of the identified users.
  4. Any urgency regarding the need to develop a portal, ensuring that we prioritize support where it’s time sensitive.

Review Process

The Secretariat will review all applications, with support from the Nodes committee, with the aim of ensuring a good match between the scope of the proposed portal and what the hosted portals programme can offer.

Participant nodes will be involved in the review of applications from data publishing institutions, so that nodes can maintain oversight of the portals within their communities as part of their coordination role. Just as with the endorsement of data publishers, the Nodes Steering Group will assist in the review of applications from any data publisher in a country not yet participating in GBIF, and that has no connections with an existing Participant node.

The review process will usually take around two weeks, but may take longer in periods of high demand.


  1. Approval of the application, with written feedback, and instructions on how to proceed into the preparation phase.
  2. Request for additional information, with written feedback explaining why we are not able to complete the review based on the information provided.
  3. Rejection of the application, with written feedback explaining why we are not able to approve the application.

Participation in the programme

Selected participants will work closely with the GBIF Secretariat to establish a hosted portal, which will involve two phases. The goal of these phases is to identify those participants that will require more support in establishing their portals and ensure that they receive guidance before getting started with the technical set up.

Preparation phase

  • Identify the specific theme, images, data scope, and other content you intend for your portal
  • Review documentation and become familiar with tools we will be using (GitHub and Markdown for writing content)
  • Further develop your plans for promoting and maintaining your portal

Implementation phase

  • The Secretariat will set you up with a staging portal scoped to display the GBIF-mediated data you have specified
  • Edit the menu structures, images, styling and text for your portal
  • Contribute translations for languages other than English
  • Review and accept the hosted portals service agreement ahead of your portal launch
  • Promote your portal with a user community
  • Optionally, join quarterly community calls to share experiences and provide regular feedback, including from your user community, as we further develop this area of work

Support from Participant nodes

We will invite nodes that have successfully launched hosted portals to remain on the group mailing list and assist in supporting new participants in the programme. They will also be invited to the community calls to share experiences and tips. We could consider more structured mentoring approaches in the future, based on demand.


Participation in the GBIF hosted portals programme is offered free of charge to representatives of GBIF Participants and data publishing institutions endorsed by a node.

Approval of participation in the hosted portals programme will be valid for one (1) year, with expectation that this provides ample time to successfully develop and launch a hosted portal. Participants will be asked to submit regular progress reviews throughout this period.

All participants will need to agree to the hosted portals service agreement before we launch a hosted portal. All hosted portals will display a “hosted by GBIF” banner in the footer.

Once launched, hosted portals will be maintained according to the terms described in the hosted portals service agreement. Participants may leave the programme or retire their portal at any time upon notice to the GBIF Secretariat.

The GBIF Secretariat reserves the right to discontinue hosting services for national portals for countries that no longer participate in the GBIF network (i.e. that become observers) invoking the termination period outlined in the hosted portals service agreement (currently 12 months).