Orientation in an ocean of data – more than a data portal

Innovative research and new techniques in the field of environmental and ecosystem sciences not only lead to new understandings, but also to a flood of data. Now it is crucial to learn to manage this ocean of data. The aim is the long term availability of data in open access for users and interested public.  This is an essential precondition for subsequent re-use of the data, e.g. to study changes in plant, fungal and animal community compositions caused by climate change over decades. The better the data are accessible, the more profound are the scientific results and the resulting options of action.

By providing funds of 5.8 million €, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft recognizes the importance of managing scientific data properly. The funding is the basis for the second phase of the German Federation for Biological Data – GFBio (http://www.gfbio.org). The joint project involves 19 partners from all over Germany. The Bavarian Natural History Collections with the SNSB IT Center (http://www.snsb.info) is one of them. One main objective of GFBio is to integrate already existing data infrastructures, e. g., research data centers for collection, molecular and ecological data and provide access to their data by a central portal. Moreover, GFBio aims to offer comprehensive services and applications for the management of data. The GFBio-specific upgrading of Diversity Workbench tools at the data center in Munich is part of this concept (http://www.diversityworkbench.net). The project supports scientists in project planning, data collection and visualization as well as subsequent long-term archiving in one of the affiliated data centers. This holistic approach and the integration of genomic, environmental and collection data are internationally unique.

The recently approved grants enable GFBio to refine and upgrade its services offered since December 2013. In this way, GFBio will establish itself as the main German contact point for biological and environmental data management in the long run, making high quality data accessible quickly to address future scientific questions more effectively.

Further information:
Diepenbroek, M., Glöckner, F., Grobe, P., Güntsch, A., Huber, R., König-Ries, B., Kostadinov, I., Nieschulze, J., Seeger, B., Tolksdorf, R., Triebel, D. (2014). Towards an Integrated Biodiversity and Ecological Research Data Management and Archiving Platform: The German Federation for the Curation of Biological Data (GFBio). In: Plödereder, E., Grunske, L., Schneider, E. & Ull, D. (eds): Informatik 2014 – Big Data Komplexität meistern. GI-Edition: Lecture Notes in Informatics (LNI) – Proceedings 232: 1711-1724. Köllen Verlag, Bonn.

Dr. Dagmar Triebel, Tanja Weibulat
SNSB IT Center
Menzinger Str. 67
80638 Munich
Tel.: +49 (0)89 17861 265
E-Mail: triebel@bsm.mwn.de