GBIF.org supports the publication of four classes of datasets using widely accepted biodiversity data standards.
At present, the GBIF network only publishes datasets directly from organizations. Individuals who wish to publish relevant datasets should work through their affiliated organizations (see 'Request endorsement' below) or consider submitting a data paper to one of a growing number of journals.
Citizen scientists can contribute occurrence records indirectly by participating in the growing number of projects worldwide that publish their datasets through the GBIF network.
Once you decide to share data through the GBIF network, you should alert administrators of your plans to publish on behalf of your institution. Sharing open data can increase the visibility and impact of institutions, building on traditional methods like academic publications and specimen loans to reveal new opportunities for collaboration and, through the use of DOI-based citations, link directly to research uses (example).
To become a data publisher, your organization must request endorsement from the GBIF community. Once you have reviewed the data publisher agreement and agree in principle to share data, we encourage you to request endorsement for your organization as soon as possible to avoid delays in publishing data.
Much of the data now shared with GBIF resides on one of the dozens of installations of the GBIF IPT: Integrated Publishing Toolkit and, increasingly, on national installations of the Living Atlases platform originally developed by the Atlas of Living Australia.
Other alternative arrangements exist, including those for data hosting both within and outside a given data-publishing institution. Highly skilled publishers can also use an API to register datasets programmatically (contact the GBIF Helpdesk for more details).
We also maintain a knowledgebase of tools and other documentation.
Publishers who choose to share their data using Darwin Core Archives (see data standards) can familiarize themselves with the format using spreadsheet templates created for occurrence datasets, checklists and sampling-event datasets.
Using the updated GBIF Data Validator, you can check datasets prior to publication and receive specific recommendations on improving and cleaning them. The report will help, for instance, by flagging duplicate records, incomplete fields and recognized inconsistencies in formatting.
You can also prepare datasets to comply with GBIF's data quality requirements.
In keeping with a 2014 decision by the GBIF governing board, data publishers must assign one of the three Creative Commons licences to any occurrence dataset:
Note that CC-BY-NC licences have a significant effect on the reusability of data. GBIF encourages data publishers to choose the most open option they can wherever possible.
If you’re using an IPT, simply click the button to ‘register’ your dataset with GBIF. Once published, you can view some quick metrics on your dataset (example) , user download activity (example) and traceable literature citations (example).
An important part of GBIF's mission is to promote a culture in which people recognize the benefits of publishing open-access biodiversity data, for themselves as well as for the broader society.