New on-line survey on how data custodians are overseeing the sharing of Sensitive Primary Species Occurrence Data

Larry Speers lspeers at GBIF.ORG
Mon Mar 6 13:03:20 CST 2006

New on-line survey <>  on
how data custodians are overseeing the sharing of Sensitive Primary Species
Occurrence Data

The GBIF Secretariat <>  recognises concerns about the
unprotected distribution of Sensitive Primary Species Occurrence Data (for
example the exact localities of rare, endangered or commercially valuable
taxa). This as an important issue to be addressed related to data to be
shared through the GBIF network and made visible through the GBIF Data
Portal <> .

We urgently need to review current approaches to obscuring or generalizing
such data, and to develop best practice recommendations in this area.  It is
also important to understand the possible impact that such approaches may
have on biodiversity science. This review will lead to a discussion paper
which will be made available later this year on the GBIF web site.

The GBIF Secretariat wishes to examine:
*       which data are regarded as 'sensitive'
*       which approaches are currently used by GBIF data providers to
protect sensitive data (and the associated advantages and disadvantages of
these approaches)
*       the extent to which each approach may be reversed through
co-relational analysis
*       the extent that generalization may restrict various analyses
*       the level of generalization that may be appropriate for different
types of data
*       the best ways of documenting generalization of data and the methods
*       whether a standard approach can be promoted for all sensitive data
provided through the GBIF network
*       whether changes should be made to the TDWG ABCD and Darwin Core
schemas (used by GBIF for exchange of Primary Species Occurrence Data) to
facilitate sharing generalised data
We are offering an on-line survey
( and invite
representatives of all institutions holding Primary Species Occurrence Data
(specimen data, observations, living collections, and survey and monitoring
data) to fill out this survey. The deadline for completion is April 1, 2006.
After this date the survey will be closed and we will compile the responses
to contribute to the review process.

Further background on the survey can be found in the introduction to the
survey <> . All respondents
will receive a link to the draft Discussion Paper when it becomes available
and there will be an opportunity to provide additional comments and
reflections before the report becomes public.
Larry Speers
Senior Programme Officer
Digitization of Natural History Collections
Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Copenhagen, Denmark

Arthur D. Chapman
(Consultant to GBIF on Sensitive Data)
Australian Biodiversity Information Services
Toowoomba, Australia

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