RECAP: One of the mandates for the Natural Science Department, is to publish its collections data that fall under its umbrella to the free access data sharing platforms such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). GBIF is an international network and data infrastructure funded by the world's governments that aims at providing anyone, anywhere, open access to data about all types of life on earth.
Once datasets are published and available through GBIF, the information can be accessed by anyone across the world.
The benefit of this is that one can publish data that has a lot of citations including those from collectors of that data. And in that fortunate event, one should expect communication from these researchers regarding the standard of the dataset information.
So one of the collectors from the KwaZulu-Natal Museum (KZNM) Entomology Collection dataset sent an email regarding observation of the dataset.
Below are some of the alerts he has picked up that need to be looked at by myself and find the best solutions to improving the data in GBIF.
Another alert I received recently from someone who accessed our data in GBIF was David Shorthouse, who maintains a crowd-sourced, open data curation environment called Bionomia that allows anyone to create linkages between persistent, unique identifiers for collectors and the natural history specimens they collected and/or determined.
So besides other people raising certain flags to the data that one publishes, GBIF also does the same thing in terms of alerting/highlighting data discrepancies found in a dataset. Some of the alerts/issues may not necessarily be problems but a matter of how GBIF itself interprets the data and therefore might be issues of formats.
This further proves the importance of sharing data through platforms such as GBIF, as it helps information sharing and improvement, thus striving to hold data that is of best world standards. This automatically increases the value of the data found in our Museum.