Saturday, 14 June 2014

The Bouchout Declaration for Open Biodiversity Knowledge Management

The Bouchout Declaration for Open Biodiversity Knowledge Management

On the 12th June 2014 the Bouchout Declaration was launched at Bouchout Castle in the grounds of the Botanical Garden Meise, Belgium. The declaration aims to promote openness of biodiversity data and encourage digital access to those data. The original signatories included more than 50 institutions from all over the world. Many were influential institutions such as Kew Gardens in the UK; Berlin Botanic Garden in Germany; Naturalis in the Netherlands and the Natural History Museum, Paris.

I encourage you to sign up to the declaration and support its values, either as an institution or an individual.

Below I've given five reasons why you should sign the declaration and five Dos and Don’ts of data openness… 

Five reasons to sign the The Bouchout Declaration

  1. Good scientists show the evidence for their assertions
  2. Modelling and protecting the biosphere is impossible without large amounts of high quality data
  3. We need evidence-based, not opinion-based, policies
  4. Small amounts of data have little value, but large amounts of pooled data are priceless
  5. These data should not be lost, they will have just as much value in the future

Five DOs of digital openness

  1. Publish your data, so that people can cite you
  2. Ensure your data is available in an agreed standard
  3. Make sure your data is well described so that it can be discovered and is useable
  4. Deposit your data in a long-term repository
  5. Promote the use of your data to others, who might not know how useful it is

Five DON'Ts of digital openness

  1. Don’t sit on your data for years because you think you might make use of it one day
  2. Don’t display your data, but make it difficult for people to download
  3. Don’t hold on to it because you think it has commercial value, unless you actually have a business plan for its exploitation
  4. Don’t restrict access of your data to the IT literate
  5. Don’t think your data is insignificant

Delegates of the pro-iBiosphere Final Event at Bouchout Castle

This work by Quentin Groom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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