Photo by Florencia Grattarola

Biodiversidata: A Collaborative Initiative Towards Open Data Availability in Uruguay

Photo by Florencia Grattarola

Biodiversidata: A Collaborative Initiative Towards Open Data Availability in Uruguay

Abstract

Data-sharing has become a key component in the modern scientific era of large-scale research, with numerous advantages for both data collectors and users. However, data-sharing in Uruguay remains neglected given that major public sources of biodiversity information (government and academia) are not open-access. As a consequence, the patterns and drivers of biodiversity in this country remain poorly understood and so does our ability to manage and conserve its biodiversity. To overcome this critical gap, collaborative strategies are needed to communicate the importance and benefits of data openness, exchange and provide technical tools and training on all aspects of data management, sharing practices, focus on incentives, and motivation structures for data-holders. Here, we introduce the Biodiversidata initiative (www.biodiversidata.org) – a novel Uruguayan Consortium of Biodiversity Data. Biodiversidata is a collaboration among experts with the aim of improving the country’s biodiversity knowledge and the open-access of the vast resources they generate. Biodiversidata aims to collate the first comprehensive open-access database on Uruguay’s whole biodiversity, to support advancements in scientific research and conservation actions. Currently, Biodiversidata consists of over 30 experts from across national and international institutions, studying diverse biodiversity groups. After less than two years, we have collected, curated and standardised a dataset of ~70,000 records of primary biodiversity data of tetrapod species – the first and most comprehensive open biodiversity database ever gathered for Uruguay to date. However, the process is hampered by multiple challenges.

Publication
Biodiversity Information Science and Standards, 3:e37715
Florencia Grattarola
Coordinator

Founder of Biodiversidata