Using and reusing data shared through the Living Norway Ecological Data Network 

Cite the DOI!

The data shared through the Living Norway Ecological Data Network is free to use and reuse. But when you use the data, you have one important obligation: you should cite the dataset to ensure that the data owner gets due credit. In most cases, this means that you should cite the dataset DOI. If you, for instance, download and use an original Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) data package that you download from our data portal, you should cite the DOI for that dataset. An appropriate text string for citation is also provided on the dataset page. As an example, for this dataset, the following citation string is given at the bottom of the dataset page:  

Åström S, Åström J (2021). Bumblebees and butterflies in Norway. Version 1.3. Norwegian Institute for Nature Research. Sampling event dataset accessed via on 2022-02-15. 

Note that the DOI allows us to track the use of the dataset, so you should allways include the DOI in the citation. The citation style might vary between journals. If you are unsure how to cite the dataset, you can always contact us or GBIF and ask about this.  

Data from our network can also be accessed in other ways than from the primary DwC-A. If you select occurrence data through our “Occurrence search” interface in our data portal, you will be redirected to to download the selected data. Here, you will be provided with a proper citation for that specific download (including a DOI) that you should use as a citation when using the data. If you do not have a registered user accound with GBIF you will have to make one on the first time you download data using this path.   

All data available through the Living Norway Ecological Data Network is published through the GBIF infrastructure. Therefore, the different ways to access GBIF-data generally also apply to data shared through our network.  A more detailed description of how to cite the datasets (depending on how they are accessed) is provided by GBIF here.   

All data shared through our network has a license

Note that all data shared through our network are licensed. In most cases, we use the CC-BY 4.0 license. This license allows you to reuse and share the data as you wish, as long as you give a proper citation.   

How do I get the data? 

Data shared through the Living Norway Ecological Data Network are published via the GBIF infrastructure. So, if you are an experienced user of GBIF data, you already know several ways to access the data. However, you should be aware that in our network, we focus in particular on ecological data, which typically contain additional information about the sampling protocol, sample size, methods, sampling event etc. All this information might be included in the original DwC-A data package (the primary data unit as provided by the data owner). Still, sometimes some of this information does not get ingested by the GBIF database. For this reason, it is often necessary to access the original DwC-A data package when using the data for research.  

Here, we describe how to access the data using the tools provided by the Living Norway Ecological Data Network. Further description about how to access the data directly based on the tools operated by GBIF can be found on the GBIF portal.  

Manual download from our portal 

The most convenient way to access the data for some users is to manually download the DwC-A directly from our data portal. This can be done simply by clicking on the download DwC-A button (with the text “DWC_ARCHIVE”). This will start the download of the data package. In a DwC-A, both data and metadata are contained in the zip-file, so by unzipping the file on your computer, you will have access to the data tables (typically represented by one or more csv or txt files) that can be imported to e.g. R and other sofware. The metadata is contained in the eml.xml file that is also in included in the zip-file.  

Accessing data from R and R-studio

We know that many of the users of data shared through our network are using R and R-studio, and prefer to access data directly from these software. Many R-users are familiar with the rgbif-package. This package provides an interface to the GBIF API and allows accessing and querying data ingested into the GBIF database.   

We have developed the package LivingNorwayR that help you to access and interpret the primary DwC-A. Once you have installed and loaded this package, you only need one line of code to download and import all the data contained in the Dwc-A file into R. As explained above, the DwC-A might sometimes contain information that is not ingested into the GBIF database (and thus is not available using rgbif). On the dataset page for each dataset, there is a short R-code that you can use to access that specific dataset. A detailed introduction to the package is found here.     

Accessing data from our occurrence search

Suppose you want access to the occurrence records shared through our network (but not necessarily all the additional information about sampling events and methods). In that case, you can query and access data from our “Occurrence search“. Once you have made the appropriate selection of occurrence records, you can download the data. Note that to do so, you will be redirected to to download the data. Occurrence records from Norway can also be accessed from Artskart.  

You can also learn more about how to use data available through Living Norway by reading our technical blog. We will post regular updates and usecases, so stay tuned!