GBIF Participants collaborate in 2013 mentoring projects

Eight Participant nodes share expertise on data publishing, portal development, digitization and e-learning.

GBIF’s mentoring programme for 2013 will enable eight national nodes, the coordinating units for Participants, to share network expertise in building biodiversity information facilities.

In three separate projects, GBIF Participant nodes in Colombia and Belgium will act as mentors to counterparts in Brazil, Togo and Mauritania respectively; while Spain, France and Portugal have identified particular areas where each country can benefit from the others’ experience.

In the first project, the Information System for Colombian Biodiversity (SiB Colombia) will help its counterpart SiB Brazil to accelerate the setting up a new Brazilian biodiversity information infrastructure following the country’s entry into GBIF last October. The project will include installing a platform to publish data from Brazil using the GBIF Integrated Publishing Toolkit, and developing a prototype data portal using the GBIF source code. The mentoring will build on SiB Colombia’s experience of reusing and adapting GBIF-developed informatics tools, thus saving several years of development work to meet its national needs.

In the second project, GBIF Belgium will mentor nodes in Togo and Mauritania to improve their capacity to publish data. Togo expects to mobilize data from new sources, while Mauritania plans to install upgraded GBIF tools to further data publication. The project will also focus on the deployment of biodiversity information websites in Mauritania and Togo. The Nodes Portal Toolkit Startup, a GBIF product, will be assessed as a candidate for this.

The final mentoring project will help GBIF nodes in Spain, France and Portugal to exchange their expertise for mutual benefit. GBIF France will use its experience with a website using crowdsourcing to digitize botanical specimen labels to help develop a similar pilot project in Spain and Portugal. France will also support Spain and Portugal in developing a tool for visualizing data from their collections, based on tools developed for the new French data portal.

GBIF Spain’s experience will help in setting up an e-learning platform for GBIF France and an e-learning training package for GBIF Portugal. As part of the project, training events on publishing data papers and on data quality are planned, and GBIF France will test the deployment of persistent identifiers—standard globally unique identifiers for data objects.

Each of the three projects will receive between €8,000 and €15,000 from GBIF’s core funds, which are provided by governments of GBIF Participants.

The GBIF mentoring programme aims to accelerate the establishment of biodiversity information facilities by bringing together GBIF nodes to share experience and expertise.

For more information please contact:

Olaf Bánki

Senior Programme Officer for Participation, GBIF Secretariat