Community consultation opens for freshwater data publishing guide

Comments and feedback requested by 15 August 2024


To facilitate the release of a new guide on the publishing of freshwater data, GBIF is seeking expert input and feedback from community members until 15 August 2024.

Authored by Jennifer Lento, research scientist at the Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick and co-lead of the Freshwater Biodiversity Observation Network (FW BON), and Astrid Schmidt-Kloiber, senior scientist at BOKU University Vienna and FW BON regional coordinator, the guide aims to describe best practices for formatting and publishing data derived from freshwater ecosystem sampling within the GBIF infrastructure.

"Access to biodiversity data is crucial for tracking climate change impacts," said Lento. "However, the use of freshwater biodiversity data is often limited by inadequate supporting information. The guide addresses the unique needs of freshwater data analysis, emphasizing critical details about biomes, habitats, life stages, and sampling methods, and how providing such information can help enhance data interoperability."

"In freshwater science, we still see a lot of data in scientists' drawers and computers," remarked Schmidt-Kloiber. "One reason being the often complicated and time-consuming preparation required for sharing data publicly. With this guide, we want to initiate a change of culture and provide scientists with the information and tools they need, thus making data publishing simpler and easier."

This release is the next in a series of digital documentation guides supported by GBIF. Feedback on the community peer-review process and the digital documentation programme—including suggestions on other topics we should consider covering—are always welcome via Community members that help improve the document during this peer-review phase will join the colophon as contributors to the guide.

How do I participate in the community peer review?

Community members interested in contributing to this peer-review process can read the overview of the digital documentation programme to place their efforts in context, then review the specific instructions and expectations on how to offer suggestions and improvements.

To lend your voice and participate as a reviewer, we ask community members to:

Please remember that all interactions within this process must adhere to the GBIF Code of Conduct, which aims to encourage a "safe, hospitable, and productive environment" that is "professional, respectful and harassment-free for all participating."

How can I learn about the release of other new documents?

Whether you subscribe to other GBIF lists or not, the best way to stay informed on the upcoming releases is to subscribe to GBIF's 'digital documentation' mailing list. You can also expect to see announcements on our social media channels.