Promoting Open Access for Biodiversity Data

The Portuguese Node of GBIF promotes the publication of open access data by Portuguese Institutions, in line with the Open Access Policy for Scientific Data, put into effect by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT). Since 2014, it has been recommended that scientific data, produced by projects funded by FCT, are made available in open access.

The GBIF infrastructure provides a persistent biodiversity data repository for researchers to publish biodiversity data, meeting Open Access requirements and Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable (FAIR) principles. The conditions created by GBIF allow:

- The publication of data with the adoption of one of the following Open Access licenses: Creative Commons Zero (CC0), Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY);

- The publication of data in the Darwin Core standard format, which facilitates global indexing and access, and interoperability with data from other platforms;

- The publication of metadata (data description) in the standard EML format, which facilitates the discovery of datasets. In addition, metadata can be easily converted into a data paper;

- Free and open access to data, without barriers, to anyone, anywhere in the world, through the internet;

- The re-use of data either by searching the portal or the national portal, or through API interfaces, available in each of these portals.

GBIF also ensures allocation and credits over the use of data to its publishers. Each published dataset, as well as each downloaded dataset, is assigned with a Document Object Identifier (DOI), as is the case with most scientific publications. Thus, correct citation of data usage is facilitated, which is also tracked by scientific publications from GBIF. In this way, the number of citations for each set of data published by GBIF is counted.

This is of great importance to researchers who publish data and according to the EOSC Declaration the recognition of data publication by researchers for curricular assessment and career development purposes is recommended. When this step is taken, another incentive will be created for the open access data publication, which also increase citation rates of scientific articles, as shown in this paper.

To find out how to publish your biodiversity data through GBIF, start here. The Portuguese Node of GBIF will provide all necessary support, through training and infrastructure availability, for data publication.