A number of recent initiatives, often working at a country or continental level, are making huge strides in regional digitisation, aggregation and visualisation of collections data. Often the intellectual case, methodologies, organisational processes and impact of these programmes are very similar, differing only where regional needs demand a difference in priorities. This suggests that the geo-/bio-diversity informatics community is driving toward a common vision for community activities, and provides the means for less-resourced regions to highlight needs for local investment. But without international coordination, we risk duplicating effort, and subsequently struggle to build upon each other’s work.
Orchestrating cross-project and cross-border teamwork is difficult to coordinate with current funding models, making it difficult for us to agree on what to accomplish, by whom and how to sustain this work. This also requires an inclusive model of participation supporting small group innovation alongside the larger and more enduring organisations. We explore this challenge from the perspective of several major initiatives and the needs of participating communities. We aim to identify concrete steps toward building a loose coalition of organisations and initiatives that work together to identify an agreed work plan for the bio/geo-informatics community, and encourage participation in the coalition by individuals or groups from diverse sectors with innovative ideas. We ask contributors to outline priorities for practical areas of shared interest on topics such as:
- Shared data visualization and metrics of use / impact
- Producers and consumer needs for geo-/bio-diversity data
- Techniques for cross-institutional software development
- Shared authority file resources to improve data quality and speed of data mobilization
- Models for retaining opportunity for outside innovation, and new participation.
By highlighting best practice across domains, identifying community priorities and possible methods of working, we hope to advance the cooperation and coordination of the geo-/bio-diversity data communities.
Above text from Symposium at Biodiversity Next 2019 Conference:
Smith V, Paul D, Seltmann K. Increasing Opportunities to Align Data Initiatives for Bio/Geo Collections. Biodiversity Next 2019. SP39 - Increasing Opportunities to Align Data Initiatives for Bio/Geo Collections [accessed 17 May 2021]
On our shared experiences
- How does your institutional affiliation affect your ability to collaborate? Is collaboration supported outside your niche space?
- How do you learn about potential augmented data for things in your collection?
- What is your network and model and do they cross discipline, geographic, and language boundaries? If so, what makes it work?
Alignment and partnership strategies
- Please share your experiences (positive or negative) in structured events when joining new communities?
- Do formal meetings/consultations help or do we need additional mechanisms? Please elaborate.
- Also, how do we ensure all can contribute? (individuals to large organizations)? Think of Bionomia and GloBI
On building shared funding resources to reduce unnecessary duplication
- How can we benefit from better funded initiatives elsewhere?
- How can sustained funding be acquired more effectively? What needs to be done in terms of lobbying funding agencies, influencing work programmes and encouraging international funding agendas.
- Can we better partition / converge community tasks?
On lessons from other fields
- What can we learn from communities like astronomy, particle physics, climate science, genomics that have enjoyed substantial success in acquiring substantial funding over many years?
- What are the strategic technology developments to invest in and who with?
- alliance for biodiversity knowledge
- The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH)
- Increasing Opportunities to Align Data Initiatives for Bio/Geo Collections
- Apache Software Foundation, Community-led Development “The Apache Way”
- We Can('t) Get There From Here: Aligning local to global efforts for realizing a biodiversity data commons, BiodiversityNext 2019. Click on Media tab to download.