Consultation process

This consultation is designed to explore a possible model for international consultations that minimises both the need for participants to travel and the need for them to join late-night/early-morning calls and at the same time maximises the opportunity for colleagues anywhere in the world and in any work situation to participate.

Background and context

During 2020 there have been growing conversations about the exciting possibilities of digital representations on the Internet of the billions of specimens currently held in the world’s natural science collections. In Europe, DiSSCo’s Digital Specimen concept and in the USA, BCoN’s Extended Specimen concept are aligned in a general vision of connecting and aligning all information related to a specimen. GBIF currently brings together potentially related biodiversity records by matching similar entries in individual fields across different datasets mediated at GBIF. This new clustering algorithm gives us a taste of the possibilities of fully integrated biodiversity data in the future.

These ideas have spurred discussions, notably through the TDWG 2020 conference about how our global community can work together to build infrastructure to achieve a fully integrated digital data infrastructure. Ideas in different discussions vary and it is beneficial when we can work together towards a single, robust global solution.

During TDWG 2020, a growing group of organizations and individuals signed a Letter of Intent to work collaboratively towards a global specification and interoperability for the digital/extended specimen. These signees now propose the present community consultation under the umbrella of the Alliance for Biodiversity Knowledge, using a mix of virtual meetings and online discussions via GBIF’s Community Forum.

The timeline above shows the planned elements of this stage of the consultation:

  • Open view of the consultation threads - 9th February
  • Moderator meeting - 12 February
  • Virtual introductory sessions
    • 16th Feb,6:00 UTC and 15:00 UTC
    • Consultation open for editing
  • Moderator meetings - 19th & 26th February
  • Officially close session - 5 March
    • Close consultations
  • Synthesize and continue planning of phase 2

See Background and planning document for more details