Contributing to standards developement

In Living Norway Ecological Data Network, we think that sharing and publishing ecological data based on a common standard will greatly enhance reusability of the data. The Darwin Core standard (see here for a list of terms, and here for a gentle introduction) has become the de-facto standard for primary biodiversity data, and is now increasingly being used to share and harmonize more complex ecological data.

In Living Norway, we promote and facilitate sharing of ecological data using the Darwin Core standard. This reliance of the Darwin Core standard allow us to work in close collaboration with GBIF, which also rely on this standard.

Photo by Erlend B. Nilsen
Photo by Trail Camera

To be successful in this endeavor, we have selected three main areas of focus:

First, people from our network are taking part in further development of the Darwin Core standard taking part in the global research community. These process are typically administered by the Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG), which is also responsible for maintaining the Darwin Core standard.

Second, developing a common understanding of how to interpret and implement the standard is instrumental to ensure that the data are as reusable as possible. We think this can be best achieved by developing “best practice” guidelines for sharing of various types of data, and Living Norway has been involved in several such initiatives.

Third, for a succesful implementation of a common standard a strong engagement with the research community is needed. Living Norway work closely with both data producers and data (re)users, and the network consist of active researchers in the field. By serving as an informal helpdesk for questions about ecological data management and Darwin Core, we hope to foster a common understanding in the community.

The standards team
Erlend B. Nilsen, Senior Research Scientist at NINA and professor at Nord University
Anders G. Finstad, Professor at NTNU