The first guiding principle of the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal is the principle of free and open access to data in a partnership approach. This is in accordance with the data policy of other major organisations like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).
From the Memorandum of Understanding for GBIF: “… coordinated international scientific effort is needed to enable users throughout the world to openly share and put to use vast quantities of global biodiversity data, thereby advancing scientific research in many disciplines, promoting technological and sustainable development, facilitating the conservation of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of its benefits, and enhancing the quality of life of members of society. The importance of making biodiversity data openly available to all countries and individuals is underscored by various international agreements."
We highly encourage scientists to adopt the data publication principles (e.g. Costello 2009 - doi:10.1525/bio.2009.59.5.9) and regard data publication as an alternative way of publication where scientists get visibility and are credited through citation of their data.
A second guiding principle is that the scientist or team generating the data should have the opportunity to analyse the data and publish a paper before releasing the data itself. We nevertheless encourage scientists to prepare their data for submission to the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal and notify us of an embargo period before the release of the data (cfr. how one would prepare sequences for GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ).
The Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal or BioFresh do not assert any intellectual property rights in the data that is made available through the portal. The data policy of the data originator will take precedence over this data policy. The Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal or BioFresh does not claim ownership of the data, only the participating institutes/organisations and/or the funder of the data will have this responsibility.
In order to minimise probability of data loss, data providers are urged to submit datasets (electronic and paper) for archiving in the recognised data centre of their choice for long-term preservation of the dataset as soon as data becomes available. Data submitted for archiving will not be edited or quality controlled by the data centre, except for routine checks on the syntactic consistency of data (e.g. database and/or file integrity). All archived datasets have to be documented properly, and documentation archived together with the dataset. Also contextual data (environmental characteristics, meteorology and climate data…) should be archived together with the primary (biodiversity) data.
Metadata are always freely accessible, without restrictions. The submission/publication of data usually coincides with the creation of a metadata record, which will be made available, inter alia, online through the Freshwater Metadatabase. Metadata include taxonomic, geographic and temporal scope, data ownership/stewardship and conditions of access, and a description of 'fitness for use' of the data.
This data policy may be revised as required, in agreement with the BioFresh consortium, partners and data contributors.
An interesting possibility to ensure that a dataset or database can be cited, is to explicitly refer to the scientific paper in which the data was used (if the paper came first) or make data available through a paper describing the dataset. Such a data paper could be either focus on an extended description of the data (metadata) or be further extended by e.g. sketching the history, value and usefulness of the dataset for fellow scientists and by including basic analysis of the data for publication in a regular scientific journal. We have developed an easy to publish option once the data are stored in the Freshwater Metadatabase: metadata can be released as Freshwater Metadata Journal article with open access and an allocated DOI. Have a look at the other publishing options described here for more information.
Use the following format to cite data retrieved from the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal:
Data publisher (if applicable), Data provider (if applicable), Data owner/creator (Year/Timespan) Dataset name. Published on http://data.freshwaterbiodiversity.eu, accessed on DD/MM/YYYY, doi: .
BioFresh as data publisher: BioFresh (publisher), CBGIG Lake phytoplankton group (provider), Geoff Phillips (creator). (2012) Central Baltic GIG Lakes Phytoplankton data [UK]. Accessed on http://data.freshwaterbiodiversity.eu, 26/04/2012, doi .
BioFresh/Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal hosting the data: DAET consortium (publisher), Max Mustermann (owner). (2012- ) DAET data Germany. Published on http://data.freshwaterbiodiversity.eu, accessed on 26/04/2012, doi: .
If accessed through GBIF: BioFresh (publisher), DAET consortium (provider), Max Mustermann (owner). (2012- ) DAET data Germany. Published through http://data.freshwaterbiodiversity.eu/, accessed on http://data.gbif.org, 26/04/2012, doi: .
Data providers to the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal are required to sign this agreement on data publishing as formulated below. Providers are strongly encouraged to foster scientific research by supporting the public use of these data. In addition, providers agree that data published through the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal will be made available through partner or stakeholder networks such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility ( GBIF). Data publication and sharing will take place within a framework of appropriate attribution. The Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal wants to assure that all contributors to the datasets, and the conditions of availability and use, are clearly visible and properly acknowledged.