This is a reproduction of the ANTABIF contribution to the latest EBA Report.
Easy access to expert information on Antarctic Biodiversity is a prerequisite for improving research, conservation and management. Since May 2005 the Antarctic Marine Biodiversity Information Network (MarBIN) has managed a dedicated data portal, www.scarmarbin.be, that provides free and open access to Antarctic marine biodiversity information. MarBIN was initially supported by the Sloan Foundation, New York (through the Census of Marine Life), before becoming funded by the Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO), as a significant, and visionary support to Antarctic research activities.
Almost 7 years after it’s initiation it is time for some changes, both on the inside and the outside, hence we now have the Antarctic Biodiversity Information Facility (ANTABIF). Funded by BELSPO, ANTABIF is building an innovative Antarctic biodiversity data portal, giving access to a distributed network of contributing databases, according to the principles of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). It is building a new data discovery tool using two complementary networks and will expand these by using an advanced technical architecture, capable of linking with many potential data resources, and helping the scientific community to valorize its work through many channels.
ANTABIF integrates SCAR-MarBIN (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research – Marine Biodiversity Information Network), with the biodiversity databases managed by the Australian Antarctic Division, bringing together data from marine, limnetic and terrestrial realms.
For recent developments you can visit the general website www.biodiversity.aq. Besides providing the latest news this website provides links to the different complementary platforms that will assist you in data publication and data discovery.
The Integrated Publishing Toolbox (IPT) (ipt.biodiversity.aq) is a new online interface, developed by GBIF, that allows researchers to prepare and clean their dataset as well as publish metadata and primary biodiversity data (checklists, occurrence data). As an added bonus the IPT allows the automatic creation of a manuscript describing the submitted dataset (a Data Paper), that is ready for submission and reviewing for a data journal such as Phytokeys, Zookeys, Biorisk, Neobiota, Biodiversity Data Journal or Nature Conservation.
Finding primary Antarctic biodiversity data will be made possible through a dedicated data portal. Through an intuitive search interface allows you easy access to relevant occurrence and metadata records. Finding, exploring, sharing, visualizing, downloading biodiversity data will be made a easy as possible. The data portal is our masterpiece, and has demanded over a year of development to embed the most robust technologies in biodiversity informatics, machine learning, web mapping and search engines. We envision to publicly release the data portal at the end of this year.
Our final product is the Antarctic field guide (afg.biodiversity.aq). These provide an online identification where people can create their customized field guide that can be published an shared online. The content is progressively built by the community, and gathered on the fly from a bunch of authoritative sources.
We invite you to explore these new community driven platforms and contribute to easy access to good and abundant information on Antarctic Biodiversity.
ANTABIF is an open-source, community-driven initiative. You are all welcome to help!