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INBO, (r)evolution towards an open research institute - Dimitri Brosens


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The Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) is the Flemish research and knowledge centre for nature and its sustainable management and use. The INBO conducts research and supplies knowledge to all those who prepare or make the policies or are interested in them. As a leading scientific institute, the INBO works for the Flemish government primarily, but also supplies information for international reporting and deals with questions from local authorities. In support of this research the INBO collects and manages a wealth of biodiversity data, mainly species observation records: the what, when and where of a species.

One of our strategic aims is to make this research data publicly available. Our journey to opening our data started in 2010 with the publication of our first datasets on the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), a network who strives for free and open access to biodiversity data. In the years since, we have become one of the major publishers and promoters of biodiversity data - with over 5 million species observation records, as well as geographical and other research data - and got involved in open data movement.

It is within this context that the organization started to evolve towards an open data research institute. Recently we signed the Bouchout declaration for Open Biodiversity Knowledge Management and approved, as one of the first Flemish institutes, our open data policy. During this presentation we will talk about the barriers, highlights and setbacks we encountered during this journey.

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INBO, (r)evolution towards an open research institute - Dimitri Brosens

  1. 1. (R)evolution towards an Open research institute Dimitri Brosens
  2. 2. the Flemish research and knowledge center for nature and its sustainable management and use
  3. 3. We deal with
  4. 4. Human observations Going back 20 years and more
  5. 5. Machine observations Mainly via
  6. 6. and
  7. 7. we supply knowledge to all those who prepare or make the policies or are interested in them.
  8. 8. INBO identified twelve strategic goals. These goals can be considered general rules and best practices that should be implemented and fully applied by 2015. The sixth institutional goal: "INBO manages and discloses [biodiversity] data" 2009
  9. 9. But how?
  10. 10. We became GBIF Data Publisher 2010
  11. 11. GBIF is the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and advocates free and open access to biodiversity data
  12. 12. GBIF licensing was catastrophic: 432 different licenses in use 2010
  13. 13. But who cared anyway? We started publishing data! 2011
  14. 14. Metadata are important, not the license by-nc/3.0/ 2011
  15. 15. Standardization is important, not the license Darwin Core Standard 2011
  16. 16. Format Darwin Core Archive: CSV data + XML metadata
  17. 17. Data publication: 2011
  18. 18. We started creating data portals in cooperation with the Belgian Biodiversity Platform 2012
  19. 19. Again, standardization is important, not the license Darwin Core Standard 2012
  20. 20. 2012 - 2013 We published a lot more datasets
  21. 21. We figured out that 2013
  22. 22. 17 datasets 5.3 million observations
  23. 23. As most of the GBIF data 2013
  24. 24. Open licence? CC0 + Norms for data use 2013 - 2014
  25. 25. We signed the: Bouchout Declaration 2013
  26. 26. The free and open use of digital resources about biodiversity and associated access services; Licenses or waivers that grant or allow all users a free, irrevocable, world-wide, right to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly as well as to build on the work and to make derivative works, subject to proper attribution consistent with community practices, while recognizing that providers may develop commercial products with more restrictive licensing. Policy developments that will foster free and open access to biodiversity data; Tracking the use of identifiers in links and citations to ensure that sources and suppliers of data are assigned credit for their contributions; An agreed infrastructure, standards and protocols to improve access to and use of open data; Registers for content and services to allow discovery, access and use of open data; Persistent identifiers for data objects and physical objects such as specimens, images and taxonomic treatments with standard mechanisms to take users directly to content and data; Linking data using agreed vocabularies, both within and beyond biodiversity, that enable participation in the Linked Open Data Cloud; Dialogue to refine the concept, priorities and technical requirements of Open Biodiversity Knowledge Management; A sustainable Open Biodiversity Knowledge Management that is attentive to scientific, sociological, legal, and financial aspects.
  27. 27. We started working on the INBO Open data policy 2014
  28. 28. We almost won a price! 2014
  29. 29. Approval of the INBO Open data policy January 2015
  30. 30. All scientific data for which (EV) INBO is (co-)owner are covered by this policy and can be published as open data, excluding legal exceptions
  31. 31. 12 months after collecting, data are eligible for publication
  32. 32. Raw data will be published
  33. 33. Result data associated with a scientific article, report, or advice will by published with the publication
  34. 34. Data are unlocked as open data, as defined by the Open Definition, under the Creative Commons Zero waiver
  35. 35. Published datasets always make a reference to the INBO norms for data use
  36. 36. Opened data are always well documented with metadata
  37. 37. For all upcoming research projects a data management plan (DMP) is mandatory
  38. 38. Researchers follow the open data policy
  39. 39. The INBO Information & Data Center supports researchers in the application of the open data policy
  40. 40. INBO norms for data use
  41. 41. Give credit where credit is due
  42. 42. Be responsible
  43. 43. Respect the data waiver
  44. 44. Get in touch!
  45. 45. 2015
  46. 46. Thank You! Dimitri Brosens Data liaison officer – Belgian Biodiversity Platform Peter Desmet Team coördinator – LifeWatch INBO Daniël Du Seuil Head of service - information- and datacenter– INBO