BioFresh project

Member of the

Freshwater Information Platform

Submitting data to the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal

The Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal – initiated through the BioFresh project – strongly encourages scientists to submit any primary biodiversity data published in a scientific paper to national nodes of GBIF or to thematic initiatives such as the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal. This initiative is discussed in the paper: De Wever, A, Schmidt-Kloiber, A, Gessner, MO and K Tockner (2012) Freshwater Journals Unite to Boost Primary Biodiversity Data Publication. Bioscience, 62 (6): 529–530. doi:10.1525/bio.2012.62.6.2.

Collaboration with freshwater journals

In collaboration with freshwater journal editors we developed the following statement, which will widely be published in the instructions for authors and on the journals websites:

Authors are encouraged to place all species distribution records in a publicly accessible database such as the national Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) nodes ( or data centres endorsed by GBIF, including BioFresh (

This statement is currently (March 2012) approved by the editors and publishers of the following journals: Aquatic Botany, Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, Aquatic Ecology, Aquatic Sciences, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Ecology of Freshwater Fish, Freshwater Biology, Freshwater Reviews, Fundamental and Applied Limnology, Hydrobiologia, Inland Waters, International Review of Hydrobiology, Freshwater Science (Journal of the North American Benthological Society until January 2012), Journal of Fish Biology, Journal of Plankton Research, Limnetica, Limnologica, Marine and Freshwater Research and River Systems. Discussions are in progress with an additional 9 major journals in the field.

Proposed procedure

Submitting data to the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal and the GBIF Freshwater Network involves providing a basic description of the dataset (for the metadatabase) and organising the data in a standard format. For organising (or mapping) the data, there is a range of technical options going from sending the data in an Excel template to installing a server-tool for hosting your institute’s data.

Submit data in spreadsheet format

Submitting data in a spreadsheet template will be the most straightforward option for most small datasets and is especially suitable for a ‘finished’ dataset from an individual researcher. If you want to publish data from a database that is constantly being updated or if you want complete control over the data publishing process, please consider the next two options.

Data can be submitted using the Freshwater Core templates which can be downloaded here. Note that in this case metadata should be completed using the Freshwater Metadatabase. Alternatively, we also accept data exported in the GBIF template for occurrence data available from (this template includes a worksheet for completing the metadata).

Simply send the data to data(a) for further processing.

Submit data using the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal/BioFresh Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT)

If you prefer to take control over all steps of the data publishing process and plan to release updates of your data, you can request login and password for the BioFresh IPT. Send us an email at data(a) with the name and description of your dataset (the latter is not required if you already completed a metadatabase entry for this dataset). Full instructions on how to use the IPT are available from GBIF, for data publishing, we suggest you immediately jump to the quick reference guide section.

Submit data using your own IPT

Institutions wanting to publish several datasets which are regularly updated should consider installing their own IPT. This allows them to host any data they want to provide to the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal and/or GBIF (after endorsement by a GBIF node). Full instructions on how to install and use the IPT are available from GBIF. If you choose this option, please do not forget to notify us, so that we can link your IPT publishing unit to the GBIF Freshwater Network.