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      The Atlas of Living Australia: History, current state and future directions

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          The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) is Australia’s national biodiversity database, delivering data and related services to more than 80,000 Australian and international users annually. Established under the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy to provide trusted biodiversity data to support the research sector, its utility now extends to government, higher education, non-government organisations and community groups. These partners provide data to the ALA and leverage its data and related services. The ALA has also played an important leadership role internationally in the biodiversity informatics and infrastructure space, both through its partnership with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and through support for the international Living Atlases programmes which has now delivered 24 instances of ALA software to deliver sovereign biodiversity data capability around the world. This paper begins with a historical overview of the genesis of the ALA from the collections, museums and herbaria community in Australia. It details the biodiversity and related data and services delivered to users with a primary focus on species occurrence records which represent the ALA's primary data type. Finally, the paper explores the ALA's future directions by referencing results from a recently completed national consultation process.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Darwin Core: An Evolving Community-Developed Biodiversity Data Standard

          Biodiversity data derive from myriad sources stored in various formats on many distinct hardware and software platforms. An essential step towards understanding global patterns of biodiversity is to provide a standardized view of these heterogeneous data sources to improve interoperability. Fundamental to this advance are definitions of common terms. This paper describes the evolution and development of Darwin Core, a data standard for publishing and integrating biodiversity information. We focus on the categories of terms that define the standard, differences between simple and relational Darwin Core, how the standard has been implemented, and the community processes that are essential for maintenance and growth of the standard. We present case-study extensions of the Darwin Core into new research communities, including metagenomics and genetic resources. We close by showing how Darwin Core records are integrated to create new knowledge products documenting species distributions and changes due to environmental perturbations.
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            An open Web-based system for the analysis and sharing of animal tracking data

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              Connecting data and expertise: a new alliance for biodiversity knowledge

              Abstract There has been major progress over the last two decades in digitising historical knowledge of biodiversity and in making biodiversity data freely and openly accessible. Interlocking efforts bring together international partnerships and networks, national, regional and institutional projects and investments and countless individual contributors, spanning diverse biological and environmental research domains, government agencies and non-governmental organisations, citizen science and commercial enterprise. However, current efforts remain inefficient and inadequate to address the global need for accurate data on the world's species and on changing patterns and trends in biodiversity. Significant challenges include imbalances in regional engagement in biodiversity informatics activity, uneven progress in data mobilisation and sharing, the lack of stable persistent identifiers for data records, redundant and incompatible processes for cleaning and interpreting data and the absence of functional mechanisms for knowledgeable experts to curate and improve data. Recognising the need for greater alignment between efforts at all scales, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) convened the second Global Biodiversity Informatics Conference (GBIC2) in July 2018 to propose a coordination mechanism for developing shared roadmaps for biodiversity informatics. GBIC2 attendees reached consensus on the need for a global alliance for biodiversity knowledge, learning from examples such as the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) and the open software communities under the Apache Software Foundation. These initiatives provide models for multiple stakeholders with decentralised funding and independent governance to combine resources and develop sustainable solutions that address common needs. This paper summarises the GBIC2 discussions and presents a set of 23 complementary ambitions to be addressed by the global community in the context of the proposed alliance. The authors call on all who are responsible for describing and monitoring natural systems, all who depend on biodiversity data for research, policy or sustainable environmental management and all who are involved in developing biodiversity informatics solutions to register interest at https://biodiversityinformatics.org/ and to participate in the next steps to establishing a collaborative alliance. The supplementary materials include brochures in a number of languages (English, Arabic, Spanish, Basque, French, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese). These summarise the need for an alliance for biodiversity knowledge and call for collaboration in its establishment.

                Author and article information

                Biodivers Data J
                Biodivers Data J
                Biodiversity Data Journal
                Pensoft Publishers
                21 April 2021
                : 9
                [1 ] Atlas of Living Australia, CSIRO, Canberra, Australia Atlas of Living Australia, CSIRO Canberra Australia
                [2 ] Atlas of Living Australia, CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia Atlas of Living Australia, CSIRO Melbourne Australia
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Andre Zerger ( andre.zerger@ 123456csiro.au ).

                Academic editor: Lyubomir Penev

                65023 16326
                Lee Belbin, Elycia Wallis, Donald Hobern, Andre Zerger

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 2, References: 25
                Australian Government
                Forum Paper


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