What is the Global Biodiversity Information Facility?
The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) was established by governments in 2001 to encourage free and open access to biodiversity data, via the Internet. Through a global network of countries and organizations, GBIF promotes and facilitates the mobilization, access, discovery and use of information about the occurrence of organisms over time and across the planet.
GBIF provides three core services and products:
- An information infrastructure – an Internet-based index of a globally distributed network of interoperable databases that contain primary biodiversity data – information on museum specimens, field observations of plants and animals in nature, and results from experiments – so that data holders across the world can access and share them
- Community-developed tools, standards and protocols – the tools data providers need to format and share their data
Capacity-building – the training, access to international experts and mentoring programs that national and regional institutions need to become part of a decentralized network of biodiversity information facilities.
GBIF and Open Access
GBIF’s fundamental operating principle is free and open access to biodiversity data. The GBIF Governing Board has adopted recommendations on open access to encourage research councils, other funding agencies and private foundations to promote that proposals for funding for biodiversity research include a plan for the maintenance and sharing of the digital biodiversity data generated in proposed projects and promote that species and specimen level data and associated metadata that are generated in funded projects are made publicly available through mechanisms cooperating with GBIF, within a specified period after completion of the supported research.
As of December 2012, the GBIF Data Portal has integrated 383,027,468 indexed records from 9,962 datasets and 456 publishers.