Explaining pro-iBiosphere

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The pro-iBiosphere project has been launched for a period of two years (September 1st, 2012 to August 31st, 2014), with the goal of addressing technical and semantic interoperability challenges and preparing the ground for the creation of a system for intelligent management of biodiversity knowledge which will improve the present system of taxonomic literature.

Biodiversity information constitutes an important source of knowledge for many disciplines. For example, it is fundamental to supporting conservation and for understanding the potential impacts of climate change. External and internal factors call for an urgent modernization of the production and accessibility of these data, information and knowledge. These external factors include the need for biodiversity data to support decisions for regional and taxon focused conservation. Internal factors are a consequence of the opportunities of the digital revolution, and the need to reconcile the escalating volume of data with the requirement to curate it by a fixed number of taxonomists.

pro-iBiosphere will:
  • Coordinate towards and prepare the foundations for a long-term viable, evolving knowledge management, aggregation and integration platform;
  • Provide new methods to synthesize distributed knowledge and a strategy to adapt methods of acquisition, curation, and dissemination of core biodiversity data and information to the digital era;
  • Help to align ongoing and forthcoming semantic mark up of taxonomic literature, and to link elements of biodiversity literature to the original data;
  • Promote and monitor the development and adoption of common mark up standards and specifications for making biodiversity knowledge more accessible and re-usable;
  • Provide the community with technical solutions for the enhancement and use of these data;
  • Analyze and evaluate business models for supporting Open Science and provide recommendations to achieve sustainable delivery of biodiversity information to target audiences;
  • Develop and agree on a shared data and IPR policy;
  • Promote and increase cooperation between the major biodiversity projects, initiatives and platforms at EU and global levels.
Main outcomes will be:
  • Whitepaper for an optimized dataflow, and descriptions of gaps;
  • Workplan and roadmap for the semantic integration of biodiversity literature;
  • Report on the state and quality of biosystematics documents and survey reports;
  • Strategies for improved cooperation and interoperability between infrastructures;
  • Strategy for improvement & interoperability of the XML schemas;
  • Alternative business requirements and scenarios for a sustainable Open Biodiversity Knowledge System and recommendations with regard to achieving sustainable delivery of core biodiversity data and information;
  • Draft policy on Open Access for data and information;
  • Draft strategy for increased cooperation.
Target groups are:
  • Environmental/natural sciences researchers in academia, institutes, industry, consultancies, and government;
  • Policy and decision-makers in governmental and non-governmental organizations;
  • Vocational and academic teachers and students;
  • Citizen science projects in biodiversity.

The pro-iBiosphere project involves major European biodiversity organizations, including natural history museums, botanic gardens, and specialists in mark-up, dissemination and publishing. Project partners are coordinated by the Naturalis Biodiversity Center.