The 2021 Ebbe Nielsen Challenge has opened with the aim of recognizing innovative entries that leverage biodiversity data and tools from the GBIF network to advance open science. An expert jury will judge entries on their openness and repeatability, relevance and novelty and present a selected pool of winners with a total of up to €20,000 in prizes.
Between 20 January and 2 August 2021, individuals and teams can prepare tools and techniques that improve the access, usefulness and quality of open biodiversity data and submit them to this annual open-ended incentive competition.
Challenge entries can take any number of approaches. Entrants may choose to develop new applications, visualizations, methods, workflows or analyses, often (but not always) making use of the GBIF API to access data. You may also build on or extend the capabilities of existing tools and features available across the GBIF network. We encourage entrants to review previous winners as well as previous winning entries for ideas, problems or approaches you may wish to pursue (see below).
Entries should benefit multiple stakeholder groups, including data users, data holders and data managers. You may wish to review the GBIF Communications Strategy to see how we describe GBIF's audiences.
Winners will be announced at the 28th GBIF Governing Board meeting in October 2021.
The Challenge honours the memory of Dr Ebbe Schmidt Nielsen, an inspirational leader in the fields of biosystematics and biodiversity informatics and a principal founder of GBIF, who died unexpectedly just before it came into being.
- 2 August 2021, 1600 Central European Summer Time | UTC +2
The Challenge is open to individuals, teams of individuals, companies and their employees, and governmental agencies and their employees.
The Challenge is not open to:
- Current staff members at the GBIF Secretariat
- Individuals currently contracting directly with the GBIF Secretariat
- Members of the GBIF Science Committee
- Heads of Delegation to GBIF
Entrants must complete the entry form, which provides information about the entry, including:
- Submission name/title
- Team member(s) names and affiliations
- Abstract and rationale
- Operating instructions
- Link to visuals (prototype, demo, video, screenshots, slides, etc.)
- Link(s) to submission materials on any appropriate website or repository
The judges and GBIF Secretariat staff must be able to
- access and operate or review the submission at no cost
- operate it on readily available hardware (if the submission is a stand-alone application)
- repeat any processes or routines, if the submission is a script or other automated solution
By encouraging entrants to use tools that you're already familiar and comfortable with, we hope that anyone interested in submitting can focus squarely on questions of what, why and how—
- what the submission is
- why it matters to the GBIF communities it is intended to serve
- how it works
What should I create?
The 2021 Ebbe Nielsen Challenge is deliberately open-ended, so entrants have a broad remit for creating tools and techniques that advance in open science and improve the access, utility or quality of GBIF-mediated data. Challenge submissions may be new applications, visualization methods, workflows or analyses, or they build on and extend existing tools and features.
It is expected that successful entries provide practical, pragmatic solutions for the GBIF network while advancing biodiversity informatics and biodiversity data management in relation to the GBIF mission and strategic plan.
A panel of expert judges from relevant scientific, informatics and technology domains will evaluate submissions based on the following criteria:
- Openness and repeatability: Are the constituent elements of the submission, like code and content, freely available and transparent? Are they appropriately licensed?
- Applicability: Does the submission have sufficient relevance and scope that the communities GBIF support can use or build it?
- Novelty Has a significant portion of the submission been developed specifically for the challenge? Submissions based largely or entirely on previously published work are not deemed to be eligible entries.
Previous Challenge winners and entries