The GBIF Secretariat has published version 2.2 of its Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT), a free open-source software tool for publishing and sharing biodiversity data. The new version supports consistent, traceable attribution of GBIF-mediated data and downloads, streamlines how publishers define appropriate uses of their data, and improves data quality control.
IPT v2.2 introduces the use of digital object identifiers (DOIs) for datasets, which gives users a stable, easy-to-use model for citing data sources. This approach also improves publishers’ ability to track how and where users apply their data, in both research and web applications. Updates to GBIF.org also support this new citation model, by displaying DOIs both for datasets and for user downloads. Since early February, GBIF has issued DOIs for all newly published datasets (example 1), and GBIF.org now recognizes and displays publisher-assigned DOIs for existing datasets (example 2).
User downloads also now receive GBIF-issued DOIs. This approach significantly simplifies references to any and all datasets represented in user-defined search results, even complex ones comprising occurrences from many different datasets.
The new IPT release also introduces standardized machine-readable data licenses, emphasizing GBIF’s commitment to open access.
Publishers upgrading to IPT v2.2 will have to choose to share new datasets under one of three Creative Commons licenses: CC0, CC BY or CC BY-NC. Publishers who wish to keep non-CC license conditions can continue to publish data using the previous version of the IPT, and the Secretariat will continue to welcome feedback on their concerns about the new licensing options.
These licences provide a consistent way for publishers to define appropriate uses of their data. GBIF will encourage them to adopt the least restrictive terms possible to encourage the widest use and application of their data. This development represents the culmination of an extensive community-driven consultation process and implements the decisions of the GBIF governing board.
Finally, IPT v2.2 introduces stricter quality control around the Darwin Core standard’s basis of record. As a result, the software will alert publishers when data records fail to distinguish the specific nature of the occurrences, such as specimens, literature citations and observations.
Work is already underway for IPT v2.3, which will introduce support for publishing sample-based datasets and displaying through GBIF.org.