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      Towards a Post-Graduate Level Curriculum for Biodiversity Informatics. Perspectives from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Community

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          Abstract

          Biodiversity informatics is a new and evolving field, requiring efforts to develop capacity and a curriculum for this field of science. The main objective was to summarise the level of activity and the efforts towards developing biodiversity informatics curricula, for work-based training and/or academic teaching at universities, taking place within the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) countries and its associated network. A survey approach was used to identify existing capacities and resources within the network. Most of GBIF Nodes survey respondents (80%) are engaged in onsite training activities, with a focus on work-based professionals, mostly researchers, policy-makers and students. Training topics include data mobilisation, digitisation, management, publishing, analysis and use, to enable the accessibility of analogue and digital biological data that currently reside as scattered datasets. An initial assessment of academic teaching activities highlighted that countries in most regions, to varying degrees, were already engaged in the conceptualisation, development and/or implementation of formal academic programmes in biodiversity informatics, including programmes in Benin, Colombia, Costa Rica, Finland, France, India, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan and Togo. Digital e-learning platforms were an important tool to help build capacity in many countries. In terms of the potential in the Nodes network, 60% expressed willingness to be recruited or commissioned for capacity enhancement purposes. Contributions and activities of various country nodes across the network have been highlighted and a working curriculum framework has been defined.

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            The scientific impact of nations.

             David King (2004)
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              The GBIF Integrated Publishing Toolkit: Facilitating the Efficient Publishing of Biodiversity Data on the Internet

              The planet is experiencing an ongoing global biodiversity crisis. Measuring the magnitude and rate of change more effectively requires access to organized, easily discoverable, and digitally-formatted biodiversity data, both legacy and new, from across the globe. Assembling this coherent digital representation of biodiversity requires the integration of data that have historically been analog, dispersed, and heterogeneous. The Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT) is a software package developed to support biodiversity dataset publication in a common format. The IPT’s two primary functions are to 1) encode existing species occurrence datasets and checklists, such as records from natural history collections or observations, in the Darwin Core standard to enhance interoperability of data, and 2) publish and archive data and metadata for broad use in a Darwin Core Archive, a set of files following a standard format. Here we discuss the key need for the IPT, how it has developed in response to community input, and how it continues to evolve to streamline and enhance the interoperability, discoverability, and mobilization of new data types beyond basic Darwin Core records. We close with a discussion how IPT has impacted the biodiversity research community, how it enhances data publishing in more traditional journal venues, along with new features implemented in the latest version of the IPT, and future plans for more enhancements.
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                Journal
                Biodiversity Data Journal
                BDJ
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2828
                1314-2836
                October 07 2021
                October 07 2021
                : 9
                Article
                10.3897/BDJ.9.e68010
                © 2021

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