The practice of citation serves two primary purposes: to acknowledge the original source of information and to help other researchers find that source. As an open data research infrastructure, GBIF encourages good citation practices to ensure proper credit and attribution as well as transparency and reproducibility.
Below you’ll find guidelines for the most common cases of citation by GBIF users. While these are presented in Harvard style, please feel free to adapt citations to the style format required by your institution, publisher or agency. However, please do include each element of content from the relevant example, especially the DOI link, URL and date.
Occurrence data download through GBIF.org
When a registered user downloads data from GBIF.org, s/he is redirected to a page that includes the following information:
When using this dataset please use the following citation:
GBIF.org (29th February 2016) GBIF Occurrence Download https://doi.org/10.15468/dl.ywhpmz
This citation also appears in a confirmation sent to the email account that the user registered with.
By using the assigned DOIs included with your citations, you vastly improve GBIF’s ability to track the use of data, which we can then report to data publisher. It also provides the mechanism for connecting published uses of the data back to its sources. In addition to acknowledging them, the practice of using DOI citations rewards publishers by reinforcing the value of sharing open data to the publisher’s stakeholders and funders.
Individual checklist, occurrence or sampling event dataset
Each dataset page contains a paragraph that provides a default citation, for example:
Rivas Pava M D P, Muñoz Lara D G, Ruiz Camayo M A, Fernández Trujillo L F, Muñoz Castro F A, Pérez Muñoz N (2017). Colección Mastozoológica del Museo de Historia Natural de la Universidad del Cauca. Universidad del Cauca. Occurrence Dataset https://doi.org/10.15472/ciasei accessed via GBIF.org on 2017-09-13.
Custom data export
On occasion, the GBIF Secretariat provides direct assistance to users seeking somewhat more complicated exports of data shared through the GBIF network. To improve transparency, repeatability and open access to data, we recently started issuing DOIs for these results; please cite them, for example:
If you need assistance with a custom data export, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GBIF data downloaded using the rgbif package
The rgbif package offers a function, gbif_citation, that helps you generate proper citations. This is described in more detail on the rgbif tool page.
Each species page includes a default citation, for example:
Those wishing to cite GBIF’s website in general can
GBIF.org (year), GBIF Home Page. Available from: https://www.gbif.org [3rd November 2016].
Authored content at GBIF.org (web page)
Similarly, users can cite non-data pages on the GBIF website as, for example:
GBIF.org (year) Citation guidelines. Available from https://www.gbif.org/citation-guidelines [3rd November 2016].
GBIF as an infrastructure/entity
We recommend that those wishing to cite GBIF in a broader, more general context should use the following citation:
GBIF: The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (year) What is GBIF?. Available from https://www.gbif.org/what-is-gbif [3rd November 2016].