Release notes

Updates of the software and infrastructure

Red-tailed mason bee (Osmia bicolor), Namur, Wallonia, Belgium. Photo 2019 Gilles San Martin via iNaturalist Research-grade Observations, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

This pages details the main updates to the and related infrastructure. Further details are found in the GitHub repositories, including

13 January 2022

  • GRSciColl now supports the ability to select a GBIF dataset or publishing organisation as the "master" source of information for a GRSciColl collection or institution record. Changes made in the organisation's registration or dataset metadata will automatically be reflected on the GRSciColl entity.


3 December 2021

  • A new IPT release, (2.5.2), addresses 26 issues. Most improvements are for the new user interface (including bugfixes), and to deployment / server administration.

  • A new backbone is live, with a new WCVP Fabaceae source and additional Plazi publications. For further details, see the build log

28 October 2021

  • New filters and facets for the literature service (gbifTaxonKey, gbifOccurrenceKey, gbifHigherTaxonKey, citationType)
  • New geo distance filter/predicate for occurrence search and download (geoDistance)
  • New model for GRSciColl contacts that replaces the current staff members (#379)
  • Number of specimens in institutions made optional (#389)
  • Taxonomic coverage added to the collections search (#390)
  • Lookup now accepts alternative codes + ID matches as exact (#381)

17 September 2021

New backbone live

Refer to the backbone build log for additional details.

31 August 2021

Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT)

A new version of the IPT has been released (2.5.0), addressing 81 issues. New/improved features include:

  • A fresher-looking user interface, which should still be familiar to existing users
  • The user manual has been converted from the GitHub Wiki to AsciiDoctor/Antora
  • Source data files can now be downloaded by a resource manager
  • Auto-publishing can now be set to specific, future dates
  • Archive mode can be limited to a set number of old archives to retain
  • A new health/troubleshooting page reports common system problems, like running out of disk space or incorrect filesystem permissions
  • The administration contact (for forgotten passwords) is now configurable
  • Database (JDBC) drivers have been updated
  • A URL can now be used as a data source

2 July 2021

Occurrence images
  • Occurrence records with IIIF manifest given in Audubon Core extension or Dynamic Properties now display draggable IIIF icon with link to viewer (example)

11 June 2021


31 May 2021

Dataset filters
  • Dataset search API supports filters and facets by networkKey, hostingCountry and endorsingNodeKey
Dataset export services
Download statistics

21 May 2021

  • Search occurrences using modification date stated by publisher #219
  • Download filters support search “field has a value” using the isNull predicate #244
  • Registry console supports user filtering by roles and editor scopes #330
  • API response for dataset citation now includes authors as objects, if they are also contacts and indication if the citation was provided or generated #351
  • Dataset search API supports filters and facets by installationKey and endpointType #148
Bug fixes
  • Creating a network constituent for a non existing network no longer throws error #349
  • Network suggest no longer includes deleted entities #308
  • Consistent behaviour on and Registry management console for publisher search #198

17 May 2021

  • First GBIF Parquet export added to the Amazon Public Data Catalog, with data available on 5 continents

5 May 2021

API and processing
Derived datasets

20 April 2021

  • New Parquet download format added to the API
  • First GBIF Parquet export added to the Microsoft Planetary Computer data catalogue.

22 March 2021

Sequence ID tool
  • Classification of Bacteria and Archaea by 16S sequences matched against the Genome Taxonomy Database r95
  • ITS (Fungi) database updated to UNITE v8.2
  • COI (Animalia) database updated to International Barcode of Life v2021-02-08

11 March 2021

New backbone live
  • Data source replacements, primarily for Fabaceae family and the prokaryotic kingdoms Bacteria and Archaea
  • Improvement for stable identifiers, esp relating to OTUs
  • Algorithm improvements (misplaced taxa)
  • Removal of names / terms on a denylist
  • Please refer to the backbone build log for additional details

23 February 2021

  • Support for registering dataset endpoints in Catalogue of Life Data Package format
  • Flagging of potential duplicates added to assist editors in deduplication entries in the GRSciColl catalogue. E.g. Reuse of the code PCU
  • Ability to restrict permissions for GRSciColl editors to institution or collection, allowing more people to participate
  • metadata tags revised on the dataset and taxon pages to improve search engine discoverability

11 February 2021

26 January 2021

  • Improvements to the handling of networks (groupings of datasets) including
    • Listing in search e.g. searching for Arctos
    • Listing the publishers, and the datasets in the summary e.g. OBIS network
    • Ability to control if they are visible on a dataset page
    • Ability to assign editorial control to trusted users in the registry
  • Support for DOIs for adhoc data exports by GBIFS staff (example
  • Bug fix for BioCASe protocol metadata synchronisation
  • Added the literature vocabularies type, topic and relevance to the API to support analyses by external data scientists
  • Added an experimental API categorisation of the griddedness of datasets (e.g. this example)
  • Added capability to associate ROR and GRID ids to organisations in the GBIF registry


17 December 2020

15 December 2020

14 December 2020

  • API deployed to support Literature search by DOI. This API is documented in GitHub but documentation will be moved to the GBIF API documentation shortly

8 December 2020

  • The new Catalogue of Life website is live. This is the first deployment that is powered by GBIF and hosted on GBIF infrastructure. In addition to the public website are the common repository known as the checklistbank, and a new API which is supported in the rOpenSci client.

2 December 2020

  • Extension data now shown on all occurrence pages e.g. measurements example
  • Specimen-related occurrence records now link to the collection catalogue entries in addition to the dataset they originate from e.g. this record from SAIAB. Matching uses a variety of fields including collectionCode, institutionCode, collectionID and institutionID. See the FAQ on how to improve matching
  • New API to improve searching against the Collection Catalogue, e.g searching for "K"
  • Elasticsearch updated to version 7.10.0

9 November 2020