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Special feature: making freshwater biodiversity data open and accessible

September 5, 2011

By Aaike De Wever

In June, I wrote an article on the BioFresh freshwater biodiversity information platform and data portal for this blog. The article focused on the different components of the data portal, ranging from the metadatabase and associated tools to basic occurrence data (i.e. where a particular species has been found and documented).

Mobilising scientific data on freshwater biodiversity and making it publicly available is obviously quite a job for several BioFresh project partners. I believe this is an issue that concerns the scientific community at large and so, together with some colleagues, will be working on a series of blog-articles on this subject to outline and explain the issues surrounding how BioFresh plan to make scientific data open and accessible to everyone.

The subjects we have in mind cover:

1. The BioFresh data portal (link)

  • Integrating dispersed datasets
  • Integrating models and tools to analyse and view the data

2. Building a metadatabase of freshwater biodiversity databases (link)

  • What is metadata?
  • Approaches to obtaining information on freshwater databases

3.  Working with intercalibration datasets (link)

  • Intercalibration datasets on biological water quality indices gathered for the Water Framework Directive across Europe are used to construct a common scale of ecosystem health.

4. Requesting data and dealing with complex intellectual property right issues (link)

  • Approaches to data digitisation
  • Approaches to setting up a system of interoperable databases
  • Methods of making basic biodiversity data available during scientific publication
  • Why should scientific data be made publicly available?

Summary: “Building the BioFresh freshwater biodiversity database”

We’ll be publishing articles every week on the subject, starting today.  Please get in touch ( with any comments, feedback or suggestions.

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