Friday, 15 April 2011

The first drafts of the Data Publishing Manuals are available for feedbacks

Since Darwin Core had been officially ratified by Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) in November 2009, a few tools were developed by GBIFS to leverage the standard data format, a.k.a the Darwin Core Archive, to facilitate data mobilisation. These tools include Darwin Core Archive Assistant, GBIF Spreadsheet Processor and some validators that users can use to produce standard-compliant files for data exchanging or publishing purposes. Also, IPT has upgraded to version 2 recently to fully support data publishing in metadata, occurrence data and taxonomic data using Darwin Core Archive.

Accompanying these development efforts, a suite of document are also prepared to instruct users on, not only the usage of individual software tool, but how to make data available within the GBIF Network. For those tool options we have in the biodiversity information world, we organised these materials according to which kind of content that users want to publish, and present a document map for users to follow. So, if you go to the Informatics section of the GBIF web site, there are pages called "publishing" under "Discovery/Metadata," "Primary Data" and "Name Services." Maps are there ready to guide you through the way for publishing your data. Every node in the maps are clickable and will lead you to those individual manuals.

The intention of using a map as a guide is to suggest a route that user can have basic understanding about data publishing before they play with software tools, so readers are not given a bunch of documents and don't know where to start, or hesitate to finish reading all of these before starting. We also try to keep each manual as compact as possible, with emphasis on steps, rather than just theories.

In addition to users with biodiversity background, we'd like invite developers to evaluate these draft materials, too. Any comments are welcome, especially whether these manuals help in explaining the data publishing workflow to the users you serve.


  1. The map idea is really great and effective I think. Having a huge pile of information is one thing, navigation through it without getting lost and tired is another one, and it's a huge step in the good direction.

    About the remarks on the document contents, we (at BeBIF) plan to take notes/compile them and sent them to the secretariat in the following weeks !

  2. Thank you for this positive response. I am absolutely looking forwards to comments from BeBIF!