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Special Feature: Developments in Biodiversity Data Publishing

June 14, 2012

Knowledge on the status and distribution of biodiversity is fundamental both to the delivery of key conservation conventions and the development of effective policy planning and management. Unfortunately the temporal and spatial resolution of available biodiversity data currently falls well short of what is needed. This data shortfall is constraining the ability of conservation science and management to effectively embrace important concepts of adaptive management, subsidiarity, participation as well as big new policy frames such as the ecosystem approach.

BioFresh is part of a wider scientific endeavor working to improve geographic databases on the distribution of biodiversity on Earth. This involves creating a new digital architecture of data platforms and portals to pull together and make accessible biodiversity data-sets languishing on servers in research institutes and on the hard-drives of people’s personal computers. Needless to say achieving this vision is not exactly a walk in the park! In an earlier Special Feature on Assembling the Freshwater Database, BioFresh scientist, Aaike De Wever introduced the challenges involved in setting up a system of interoperable databases and explained some key terminology: metadata, inter-calibration and so forth. In this special feature we continue this theme by presenting an overview of some important, and we think exciting, advances in data publication.

Over the next 3 weeks we will run the following series of posts reporting on important new developments, new projects, and explaining terms. If you think there are other important aspects of data publishing that we should cover please let us know. We also invite you to add your comments to amplify and extend each post so as to make this special feature as useful as possible.

We hope that you will find this special feature interesting and would be grateful if you could let your colleagues and students know if its existence.

Paul Jepson & Aaike De Wever


Saving Biodiversity Data, an introduction to the ReBIND project.

The Arrival of Data Journals including and interview with Lyubomir Penev of Pensoft Publishers.

Freshwater Journals Unite to Boost Primary Biodiversity Data Publication reports an important new agreement on data publishing.

What does a Data paper look like? outlines the structure and content of a typical data paper

Science made easier : Darwin Core explained introduces this important standard which is helping overcome key barriers to data publishing.

What is a digital object identifier? explores how this can be applied to data sets.

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