Retirement planned for previous GBIF data and communications portals

With the forthcoming release of a new resource library on, the GBIF Secretariat plans to retire its former websites and associated web services, which are presently located at and On 31 January 2015, links to these resources will be redirected to, which launched in October 2013.

The decision to retire these systems is part of an ongoing housekeeping process that serves to improve both GBIF services and the GBIF brand. The GBIF network has developed and documented many prototype information systems in the course of establishing its infrastructure, but maintaining these legacy services is not without human or financial costs. They also sometimes create confusion for users from outside the community, particularly where information and data services are outdated and unmaintained yet accessible.

Such instances reflect poorly on the current status and effectiveness of GBIF’s services and operational infrastructure. With GBIF serving a rapidly growing community of users and publishers, we need to ensure that users find the most up-to-date data through fully supported services.

We feel that the benefits of this approach outweigh the potential disadvantages, though we recognize that it may risk disrupting services that still rely on the legacy services. To that end, the former data portal has prominently displayed a notice for more than a year, alerting users to its static content and eventual retirement while discouraging its continued use as a means of accessing data. We ask GBIF community members to help us identifying key services and use cases to help guide our progressive and ongoing enhancements to Please direct your feedback to

In this regard, we note some known potential areas of interest, including

  • Support for additional data output formats, like Excel

  • Introduction—or, in some cases, reintroduction—of multilingual support, an effort tied to the 2015 work programme item on translation and internationalization (

  • Long-term status and plans for legacy mirror sites

With the expected release of a new, fully functional resource library in late December 2014, will restore the last major set of functionality from the former communications portal. Should we meet with technical issues that delay the introduction of these features, we will adjust the proposed retirement schedule to ensure that users’ continued access to the resource library, currently located at

GBIF has placed notices on these legacy sites alerting users that their services will end on 31 January 2015. We strongly encourage network members and partners who have continued to access the old sites and services to update their links, and will work to communicate directly with those who we believe are relying on them.

To submit questions, raise concerns, or request additional information about these upcoming changes, contact us at