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General Questions

GFBio, the German Federation for Biological Data, is a portal that aims to facilitate data sharing in the biological and environmental sciences and to support researchers in all aspects of research data management. With joint forces of the 19 consortium members including nine long-term data centers we offer a variety of data management services to meet the needs of researchers and funding agencies for reproducible and reusable data (see e.g., DFG guidelines on handling biodiversity data). The main components of the GFBio portal comprise a helpdesk for user support, the data submission, the GFBio Search, the Terminology Service and the VAT-System (virtual research environment for visualization, analysis and transformation of biodiversity data). GFBio is currently funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). In May 2016 the non-profit organization GFBio e.V. was founded in order to pave the way for a sustainable provision of services after the funding phase.

GFBio aims at supporting researchers to develop and implement effective data management strategies for findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable data (FAIR data principles). We offer help in all steps of the data life cycle, from project proposal to long-term data archival, e.g. data management planning support, data curation, consulting and cost estimation, and training. Please check the detailed description of our service portfolio.

Please contact our helpdesk or write a message to if you have questions or need personal support. Your request and the subsequent communication will be documented in our system and you will be referred to an expert who will take care of your request. For data archival and publication there are experienced curators at each of our data centers who will support you. If you want to deposit your data directly you can start the submission process and upload your files here.

To make full use of our services (e.g. data submission, VAT-system) you need to register as GFBio user. With your account you can also keep track of all your requests. To create an account, please go to the sign-in page and follow the instructions.

The GFBio Terminology Service (TS) helps you connect through a single access point to various kinds of terminologies in the biological domain in a uniform and transparent manner. The TS provides services and tools to find, explore, share and reuse terminologies for semantic enhancement of research platforms.

The VAT-System is a tool to visualize, analyze and transform your spatio-temporal (biodiversity)data in a comfortable online GIS environment! You have access to collections and biodiversity data centers, international data aggregators and environmental data, and can integrate your own data!

  • GFbio provides a single drop-off point with individual support for complex datasets
  • your data will be archived in one of nine high-standard data center with expertise in archiving and curating data within various fields (biodiversity data, collection data, ecological data, molecular data, environmental data)
  • Long-term preservation of your data is guaranteed
  • By receiving a persistent identifier (e.g. DOI) or an accession number (molecular data) your data become fully citable comparable to any paper publication
  • You have the possibility to archive also data that are not connected to any prior research publication
  • This means that your data become findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR data principles)

Data Management Planning

Certainly! Developing custom-tailored DMPs is a key service of GFBio. You can, for instance, consult us if you need support in formulating a text on data handling for your research proposal. Please visit our website to learn more about data management planning or contact our helpdesk for more information.


You can upload max. 20 MB per submission. If the file size exceeds 20 MB, please only upload representative data. Later, a curator will assist you in transferring your complete data set.

Go to the data submission page and start the submission process (click at “start a data submission”). If you have molecular sequence data, please use the molecular submission workflow (click at “start a molecular submission”). In both cases you are asked to answer a limited number of questions before you can upload your data (respectively metadata) files. The uploaded files will be checked by our curators for standard conformance and they will come back to you if they need additional information.


Yes, GFBio asks for a minimum set of descriptive information during data submission to ensure the findability, accessibility, interoperability and reusability of the archived data (FAIR data principles).

Data Archiving

Your data are deposited to one of currently nine associated, publicly-accessible data centers which are committed to the long-term preservation of research data and providing permanent open access to it.

Data Publication, Persistent Identifiers

Yes, all GFBio associated data centers issue a persistent identifier. With a persistent identifier your data become citable and their discoverability and re-use are increased.

Yes, you can set an embargo period (time period during which the data is already deposited in a data center but is not publicly accessible yet).

Rights, Permissions, Legal Issues

Yes, the services are open for use to any scientist. To make full use of our services it is necessary to create a GFBio user account.

Search, Access, Reuse

All data available via GFBio can be found through our GFBio Search. A beta-version of the Semantic Search functionality is now available at the GFBio portal. The semantic search narrows down (or extends) the search output by understanding the intent and context of your search (e.g. by considering relations and synonyms of search terms). Check our how-to-search guide to find out more.