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Get ready for the 34th Diversity Workbench Workshop!

We are happy to announce the 34th Diversity Workbench Workshop, to be held April 26, 2018 at the IT Center of the Bavarian Natural History Collections (SNSB) in Munich. The event is in German.


The 34th Diversity Workbench Workshop is the next event you should not miss. As usual, it will take place at the IT Center of the Bavarian Natural History Collections (SNSB), in Munich.

This time, the main discussion will be around the tools available in the Diversity Workbench suitable for research groups and projects in the field of ecology. Scenarios related to GFBio, MOD-CO and ARAMOB will also be addressed.

The workshop itself is free, but a fee of 15 Euros will be charged to cover the coffee-break and lunch. As the number of participants is limited, make sure that you register as soon as possible by sending an email to Wolfgang Reichert (reichert[at]

For further information, link to the event webpage and learn about the program, venue, timetable, what to bring along, etc. The workshop’s language is German.

Viel Spaß!

5th GFBio General Assembly

GFBio General Assembly 28 - 30 November 2017, Berlin.


The 5th GFBio General Assembly will be held 28 - 30 November 2017 in the premises of the Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin. The registration is open until 28 October.

You can find updated information in the GFBio Internal Wiki page following the link, or contact us ( if you have any question.


We are looking forward to meeting you in Berlin!

Next on the agenda: 33th Diversity Workbench Workshop

The 33th Diversity Workbench Workshop will be held 26 October 2017. Make sure that you have everything you need to fully enjoy this event.


The 33th Diversity Workbench Workshop is going to take place 26 October 2017 at the Information Technology Center of the Staatliche Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen Bayerns (SNSB IT-center). This time, the focus will be on sustainable data management, data publication and archiving in both, GFBio and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

For as much as 15€, the participants will receive a full day of training starting at 10 am and finishing at 5 pm. Don’t forget to bring your laptop (MS Windows XP or higher) – the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 can be installed in loco.

The workshop will be held in German.

For more information visit the site of the workshop, or contact Tanja Weibulat (


We are looking forward to meeting you!

16th International Semantic Web Conference 2017

ISWC 2017 Vienna, Austria, October 21-25

Each year, the International Semantic Web Conference gives stage to fundamental research, innovative technology, and applications concerning semantics, data, and the Web. The ISWC 2017 (Vienna, October 21-25) will focus on semantic technologies and promises to join researchers, practitioners and industry specialists in different workshops, talks, technical sessions, and poster&Demo sessions.

Several calls are out and deadlines are fixed. Check the website for more information about this thrilling event.

GFBio Naouel Karam will be co-chairing the 2nd International Workshop on Semantics for Biodiversity S4BioDiv, co-located with the ISWC 2017. Naoul kindly invites you to attend the workshop and is looking forward to welcome you in Vienna! The deadline for submitting an abstract to S4BioDiv is July 14, 2017.

It looks like there will be a lot of discussion going on in Vienna!

GFBio on the way to Ottawa TDWG 2017!

Can current systems, methods, and schemas be used to capture and understand patterns of association amongst occurrences, genes, phenotypes, and environments? If so, how? If not, what gaps need to be filled? Uff! Yes, this is provocative enough and GFBio is happy to take part in the discussion! If you want to join, meet us at the TDWG 2017 October 1-6, Ottawa, Canada.


GFBio participation in the TDWG 2017 annual meeting is official. We are very excited about the conference, which will unite the TDWG community from around the world with the promise to debate data integration within the data deluge.

The Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG), or Taxonomic Databases Working Group (since, the acronym) is a not for profit scientific and educational association affiliated with the International Union of Biological Sciences. The TDWG gathers every year since 1985 to discuss the hottest issues stirring the community. This year’s scientific program is an extensive catalogue of symposia and workshops, and includes one presentation from the GFBio project.

Felicitas Löffler (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena) and Jana Hoffmann (Museum für Naturkunde Berlin) will take the podium to represent GFBio in the symposium Bridging Gaps between Biodiversity Informaticians and Collections Professionals. Their presentation will reveal how GFBio is succeeding in bringing together scientific data from various sources and making it publicly available through one search system integrated in the portal. The portal also being a single access point to all GFBio services. As Felicitas puts it,

“GFBio is a very good example on how to overcome problems with different metadata standards e.g. ABCD in the collections and pansimple (extended Dublin Core) in PANGAEA. We made it to bring scientific data together from various sources: collections, museums, and environmental and molecular archives. Selected data from these data providers are now publicly available in one search system, our facets (filtering functions) are working for all these different data types.”

Take a look at the abstract  Setting up an Interdisciplinary Data Infrastructure: Why Cooperation between Domain Experts and Computer Scientists Matters - An Experience Report from the GFBio Project, which is already online at the Proceedings of TDWG.

For more information on TDWG, please visit the association’s website or #TDWG17 and stay updated.

Spots on for Jana and Felicitas!



GFBio online survey active until 30 September 2017

“Users' Perspective on Research Data Management in Biological and Environmental Sciences” – participate NOW in our survey!


Dear fellow researcher,


At GFBio, we are continuously working to optimize our services and to improve our data management support. We strive to meet the needs of both researchers and funding agencies, concerning reproducible and reusable data.

Luckily, we are not alone in this endeavour, we have you!

We have counted, in the past, with your comments, remarks, observations, advices, and criticism to develop and to expand our project. We are counting on you again.

We want to learn more about your necessities, requirements and existing routines regarding the handling of research data. Only with your feedback, will we be able to adapt our services accordingly.


Please, fill in our SURVEY “Users' Perspective on Research Data Management in Biological and Environmental Sciences”. Your opinion is vital to us.

**The survey takes about 20 minutes**


Thank you very much for your time and your willingness to help us!


Yours truly,

GFBio team


Countdown for the Research Data Alliance 10th Plenary meeting!

Pack immediately! La crème de la crème will be in Montréal for the RDA 10th Plenary Meeting 19-21 September 2017


The Research Data Alliance (RDA) Plenaries are organized regularly (every 6 months) with the objective of gathering the vast community of data scientists, librarians, computer scientists, and domain scientists in order to improve their communication, data sharing and to discuss the latest know-how in each domain. The RDA 10th Plenary meeting will include several oral communications, working sessions and a poster showcase.

Kobkaew Opasjumruskit, FSU Jena, is certainly going to enjoy representing GFBio with the poster entitled “Data Life Cycle in Practice: An experience report from GFBio”. She will introduce GFBio to the RDA community emphasizing that our project is already providing a comprehensive infrastructure and individual support for acquiring, appraising, arranging, managing, preserving, harmonizing, and publishing research data.

Kobkaew will be in very good company with Stefanie Schumacher, Alfred Wegener Institute / PANGAEA, who will present the poster “PANGAEA - more than 20 years serving the earth science community with data archiving and publication” and Markus Stocker, Universität Bremen / PANGAEA, who will present the poster “OpenAIRE-Connect: Introducing and Implementing the Concept of Open Science as a Service”. Stefanie will also give a short presentation on the work of PANGAEA in the Marine data Harmonization interest group. Markus will, furthermore, talk about data repositories in the meeting The evolving certification landscape and will chair two other meetings: From Observational Data to Information Interest Group (OD2I IG) Kick-Off Meeting and First meeting to discuss forming a WG on Persistent Identification of Instruments.

We wish our three fellow scientists fruitful discussions and an agreeable stay in Montréal. Keep in touch and do let us know what it’s like to attend the RDA Conférence!



New GFBio web features!

The GFBio portal has additional services. The latest version is available since May 11 and includes exciting features such as an additional generic data submission workflow, an updated molecular data submission, a refreshed VAT system, and the upcoming semantic search tool. Check it out!

Data submission

The Generic data submission is now available! The submission interface for molecular data was significantly improved. It is now even easier to start a submission by providing detailed metadata using a structured template and a URL for data files, instead of uploading them individually.

The submission of data to a public repository is facilitated by the Data Center Recommendation Tool (DCRT). The DCRT was designed to help the users to select the GFBio data center that fits their data best. As research data can be heterogeneous, the DCRT is valuable in assisting the first step of data submission.


Biodiversity data easily explored online with GFBio VAT system

The Visualisation, Analysis and Transformation (VAT) system allows the examination of heterogeneous, spatio-temporal biodiversity data in a comfortable online GIS environment. Responsive visualization techniques and the integration of data sources with environmental variables, make it a powerful tool for biological and environmental research. Further features include quality control procedures within the portal, upload of user data and the transformation of data to fit individual requirements. The workflow is visualized and results can be exported.


Semantic Search is now possible as upcoming tool

The beta version of the Semantic Search functionality is now available at the GFBio portal. This tool provides more flexibility when searching for a specific set of data, as  the query is expanded to find relevant results not included by the syntactic search. Like this, the semantic search    broadens the results and returns more datasets. For a better understanding of what Semantic Search is and why it is important, GFBio produced a short film, which you can visualize and enjoy here.


Have fun exploring our portal!

14th Extended Semantic Web Conference 2017

May 28 - June 1, 2017, Portoroz, Slovenia

The Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC) is a major venue for discussing the latest scientific results and technology innovations around semantic technologies. The 14th ESWC 2017 is seeking to broaden its focus to also include relevant related research areas in which Web semantics plays an important role.

The registration is open until May 22. Hurry up!

E-Science Days 2017

We were there! E-Science Days 2017: Managing Research Data, Heidelberg, 16 - 17 March 2017

Well, we did it again – and, how couldn’t we? One key note speech, one talk in the panel discussion and one info stand at the exhibition of the E-Science Days 2017… just amazing!

But, what’s the E-Science Days anyway? It’s a conference and a convention dedicated to the fascinating topic of Research Data Management (RDM). The event took place in Heidelberg and involved experts and representatives from several organizations like universities, libraries, data processing centers, data archives, museums, and funding bodies. A recurrent topic was the financial burden of RDM and the ceaseless chase for sustainable funding solutions. The community showed awareness and preocupation towards the troubles involving RDM and is ready to tackle them. Collaboration and sharing of best-practices is the way to go, as is a change of culture in scientific research in order to increase the acceptance of data sharing.

GFBio is definitely on the right track by means of a user-oriented approach, bundling RDM services into one central access point, and close contact to the user community.

Can we already reserve a place for next year’s E-Science days, please?

On the road again!

The GFBio Roadshows are back!

GFBio is reaching out to the long tail of science. Selected researcher projects will be visited in Leipzig 21 March and in Greifswald 22 March. 


CSIRO Symposium 'Linking Environmental Data and Samples'

The symposium "Linking Environmental Data and Samples" will bring together leading researchers in earth and environmental informatics, to establish the current state of the art in environmental science data publication and its use of modern web principles.

Linking Environmental Data and Samples will bring together leading researchers in earth and environmental informatics, to establish the current state of the art in environmental science data publication and its use of modern web principles. The focus is on linking data, with a particular interest in the integration of physical samples with datasets based on these, with a goal of triggering the adoption of uniform practices across Australia and internationally. 

The design of the symposium will build on the experience of the highly successful  Earth Science Information Partnership (ESIP) series that has been running for more than two decades in North America.

The symposium will include a field trip on Monday 29th May to a number of national sample collections around Canberra. Following this, an opening reception will be held at the  National Museum of Australia on Hospital Point. Registration closes 31 March 2017.

Belmont Forum 25.11.2015

The Belmont Forum has highlighted GFBio as a national initiative for the establishment of a strategic coordination network.

The  Belmont Forum is a group of high-level representatives from global funding agencies. During its last meeting of principals in October 2015 in Oslo, the  e-infrastructure Community Strategy and Implementation Plan of the Forum has been accepted.

The plan recommends the Forum to transform the way data are used and research is conducted. Consequently, the Forum will initiate the establishment and management of a strategic coordination network of organizations - such as GFBio - to address its objectives to support global environmental change research.  Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre is currently establishing a German coordination unit to align GFBio internationally, fostering information and data exchange for biodiversity and ecosystem service research and decision support.

The Belmont Forum is the main international joint-funding initiative on research into the impact and mitigation of global environmental climate change. It brings together entities to design and fund research programmes for implementation at a global level.

More information:


NEWS: nov 18 DFG Guidelines

DFG Guidelines on the handling of research data in biodiversity research

The re-use of research data is becoming more and more relevant for meta-analyses, or studies of global interest or to answer questions about climate change. Similarly, the DFG began in 2010 to ask for a data management description as part of the funding proposal for a new project.

Due to the importance of this issue for biodiversity sciences, the Senate Commission on Biodiversity Research established an appropriate working group that also includes some GFBio members. This working group established guidelines for the management and re-use of data in biodiversity research which outline the DFG's expectations on reusable research data in the field of biodiversity.

More information:


Second training course for data curators at the GFBio Collection Data Centers

Apr 14 , 2015 Stuttgart State Museum of Natural History. Second training course for data curators at the GFBio Collection Data Centers (WP5-Archives)

The 2nd GFBio training course for data curators will take place at the State Museum for Natural History in Stuttgart on April 14, 2015. This will also be the 25th Diversity Workbench Workshop and as such it will give an introduction to the use of the software tool DiversityTaxonNames. It will provide training in the management and utilisation of regionalised taxonomic reference lists, focusing on German data. DFG-funded projects in the area of biodiversity research, such as the DiversityMobile project and monitoring projects, such as the German Barcode of Life and the "Flora von Bayern" initiative, often use regionalised taxon reference lists, check lists, and species registers. These all rely on national or regional taxon concepts, connecting them with the global taxon registry, lists from nature conservation agencies, and/or common names. In Germany, taxonomies and taxonomic experts have sometimes been compiled and worked for years on a volunteer basis and without project funding. The coming workshop will bring together experts in regionalised (German) taxonomic reference lists and biologists from related fields, especially biodiversity informatics.

The workshop language will be German.

Further information

Registration: carlos.monje[at]

First training course for data curators at the GFBio Collection Data Centers

Dec 08 - 09, 2014 Stuttgart State Museum of Natural History. First training course for data curators at the GFBio Collection Data Centers (WP5-Archives)


This workshop primarily targets biologists/curators of the GFBio Collection Data Centers.

We will present workflows in curation, maintenance and publication of research data in the GFBio- context and also practice already established services. This workshop aims to support the expertise at the GFBio Collection Data Centers that already work in curation of data or want to take over such tasks in the future.

Further information

Registration: carlos.monje[at]