Biodiversity Data Integration IG


Group details

Case Statement: 
IG Established

Biodiversity is infinitely complex and must be generalised, approximated and abstracted in order to be represented and understood. However, this should not contradict the epistemological richness of biodiversity science as a discipline or deprive biodiversity scientists the flexibility to express their knowledge regardless if their precise terminology has been standardised.

This interest group would like to increase the effectiveness of biodiversity e-Infrastructures by promoting the adoption of common tools and services establishing data interoperability within the biodiversity domain, enabling the convergence on shared terminology and routines for assembling and integrating biodiversity data.

In this context taxon names provide the key element for connecting biodiversity data. The absence of an appropriate global name-reference system hinders an efficient and dynamic cross-referencing of taxon names, the functional re-use of biodiversity information and a single access to 'all names in use'. It also hinders the further development of a communal (virtual) research environment, supporting science as a community effort.

As an example, the Global Names Architecture (GNA) would like to create more stability, compatibility and community in names resolution, by including an objective (nomenclatural) layer, stabilising the cross-referencing of taxon names and by including advanced indexing services for name discovery, recognition and re-use, which will also optimise the use and uptake of all associated biodiversity information.

GNA will optimise the discovery and integration of biodiversity data by developing and improving authority files and names backbones (like CoL and PESI), checklist mapping routines and repositories (like the GBIF Checklist Bank), harmonise web portal APIs, build workflows to secure the proper resolution and data cleaning for e-Science application, and support the on-going virtualisation of the research domain. Gradually the names architecture will advance towards a global names references system, including necessary components like the Global Names Usage Bank (GNUB) and Global Names Index (GNI).

Other recognised essential foundations for data interoperability includes systems for developing, managing and sharing controlled vocabularies and ontologies such as Biodiversity Information Standards TDWG terms wiki ( and the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO) BioPortal and infrastructure models allowing an integrated access to vernacular names, also serving the non-scientific community.

The promotion and adoption of common standards tools and best practices amongst biodiversity researchers as well supports the further internationalisation of existing infrastructures. Therefore an initial focus of this IG includes the drafting of an agenda contributing to the rationalisation of species (data) management, reducing redundancy and fragmentation on species information tools and resources.

Members of this Interest Group are supposed to collaborate with relevant other RDA Working and Interest Groups on data citation, meta-data, persistent identifiers, big data analysis, data publishing, and so on.

Announced short term subgroups and potential Working Groups includes:

  • Global Names Architecture
  • Defragmentation of species data-management
  • Vernacular names infrastructure

The general objective is to make this Interest Group a sustainable component of major biodiversity informatics initiatives, like LifeWatch, EU BON, GBIF, Encyclopedia of Life and Atlas of Living Australia. Preparatory activities are supported by EC FP7 projects, like PESI, ViBRANT, OpenUp!, BioVel and pro-iBiosphere and global organisations like TDWG.

Contacts and chairs

Yde de Jong <>

Nicola Nicolson <>

Vince Smith <>

Dimitris Koureas <>


Alex Hardisty, Dave Roberts and The Biodiversity Informatics Community, 2013. A decadal view of biodiversity informatics: challenges and priorities. BMC Ecology 2013, 13(16):1-23. doi:10.1186/1472-6785-13-16.

Alex Hardisty et al., 2013. Horizon 2020: A call to forge EU biodiversity links. Nature 502, 170–171 (2013). doi:10.1038/502171d.

Yde de Jong et al., 2015. PESI - a taxonomic backbone for Europe. Biodiversity Data Journal 3: e5848. doi: 10.3897/BDJ.3.e5848.

File Attachment: 
File BDI_IG_v3.docx46.03 KB

Recent Activity

21 Dec 2019

RDA P15 Melbourne - Session Acceptance

Dear Biodiversity Data Integration Interest Group,
At its meeting on December 19, the RDA Technical Advisory Board considered your proposal for a session at Plenary 15 in 2020.
This is good to see the group getting going again and we are happy to advise you that your session proposal has been accepted. Congratulations!
TAB has some suggestions below for how you could improve your session.
Please update the session description accordingly to provide the best information for potential attendees.

19 Dec 2019

RDA P15 Melbourne - session acceptance

Dear Biodiversity Data Integration IG and ELIXIR Bridging Force IG members,


I am pleased to inform you that your submission for a Joint Meeting at P15 in Melbourne, titled "Building Bridges Between Biodiversity and Life Science Data communities", has been accepted into the program.  The TAB strongly recommend the proposed agenda be elaborated on, to enable attendees a better understanding of the content the Melbourne session will cover.

Wishing you all a relaxing break over the festive period.





06 Dec 2019

RDA Plenary 15 Announcements - Registration and Calls for Co-located Events and Posters Now Open


RDA is excited to announce several important pieces of information related to RDA Plenary 15: Data for Real-World Impact, which will be held from 18-20 March 2020 in Melbourne, Australia at the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre, MCEC (   This event will be hosted by CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) with the support of the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC).

28 Nov 2019

Deadline For P15 Group Session Submissions Extended To 5 December 2019

Dear RDA members, 

RDA's 15th Plenary meeting, Melbourne, Australia, 18-20 March 2020 

The deadline to submit session proposals for Plenary 15 in Melbourne, Australia has been extended to 5 December 2019, midnight  UTC.

04 Sep 2019

RDA website unavailable due to maintenance on 4 and 5 September 2019

Dear RDA members,


The following message is to inform you that RDA website is scheduled for a technical maintenance from today 4 September at 10:00 UTC until tomorrow 5 September at 10:00 UTC.

Messages sent to RDA Group mailing lists will not be delivered during the maintenance period.


We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


RDA Team