OpenPSD: Promoting publication and use of private-sector data on biodiversity

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Road to nordkapp
Road to nordkapp by SØ JORD photo via flickr. Image licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

A significant amount of biodiversity data is recorded every year by private companies. Collected through environmental impact assessments and national monitoring programmes, this data most often remains locked in reports unavailable to the wider scientific community and society as a whole.

Building on the past experience of GBIF nodes in Norway and Portugal—countries where several private companies already publish FAIR and open data on biodiversity—this project will develop mentoring, workshop, and documentation activities to engage and promote biodiversity data publication and use by the private sector. Nodes from Colombia, France and Spain will use these lessons to develop their strategies to engage private companies in their countries, producing outputs and deliverables that others can reuse.

The participation of partners from the private sector and academia is essential to the success of the project. EDP - Energias de Portugal and Asplan Viak AS of Norway are both private companies actively publishing data to GBIF. EDP has received assistance from CiBIO/InBIO, an academic research laboratory providing scientific and data management services. Both companies will participate in national workshops to share their motivations and experience with data publishing.

Project team members will also follow up on initial contacts between GBIF France and TOTAL regarding data from Uganda and Angola.

Project Progress

At final reporting the project had successfully been implemented, addressing the need to engage and promote GBIF-mediated biodiversity data publication and its use by the private sector by global collaboration. This was achieved despite the COVID-19 pandemic by having adjusted the implementation of the project, which included the adaptation of training events from on-site to virtual, which in itself presented an opportunity to reach a higher number of participants and test webinars as a useful tool to teach and perform outreach GBIF activities.

During the project many activities were completed including five national workshops, preparation of documentation targeted to the private sector, creation of promotional materials and mentoring, of which some of these activities are highlighted below:

  • Norway and Portugal creating four OpenPSD use cases to identify motivations and benefits for private sector companies to become GBIF data publishers based on their national experiences.
  • Publishing the guidance document “Guidance for private companies to become data publishers through GBIF to support the internal authorization process to become a GBIF publisher (available in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish).
  • Preparing a Service Level Agreement template between a company and national GBIF node (available in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish (Colombia) and Spanish (Spain) via webpage).
  • Holding five national workshops (onsite in Norway and then virtually in Colombia, Spain, Portugaland France) as outreach and training activities to engage private sector companies in GBIF.
  • Launching a promotional video “Share biodiversity data through GBIF - an invitation to the private sector", which was premiered during the GB27.
  • Launching a leaflet addressed to the private sector with general information about GBIF, the benefits derived from the biodiversity data mobilization through GBIF and the steps to follow during the biodiversity data publication process has also been produced (available in English, French, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish (Colombia), and Spanish (Spain).
  • Endorsing 17 new companies in Colombia, Portugal, Norway and Spain and over 100 private sector datasets having been published, some of which are linked here.
  • Participating and presenting the project at other events, including in December 2020 at the GBIF community webinar in about the main outputs of this OpenPSD project.
  • Holding meetings with different companies for example in Spain and Portugal to explore possibilities of their participation in GBIF as publishers.

Throughout the project its main results have been communicated by posting on websites and social media platforms. Different project pages have also been available (some in the local node language), together with each OpenPSD training activity having a dedicated page providing access to materials and information about the event (an overview of these is provided below).

Project page OpenPSD training activity
Spain Workshop website (virtual event, November 2020)
Norway Workshop website (on-site event with online streaming, February 2020)
Colombia Workshop website (virtual event, May 2020)
Portugal Workshop website (virtual event, December 2020)
France Workshop website (virtual event, January 2021)
€ {{ 19500 | localNumber }}
€ {{ 32500 | localNumber }}
1 June 2019 - 30 January 2021
Project identifier
Funded by
Project lead
GBIF Spain
Contact details

Cristina Villaverde
Real Jardín Botánico - CSIC
Plaza de Murillo, 2
28014 Madrid

€ {{ 19500 | localNumber}}