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

18. August 2015
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 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 euros, 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. The joint project is coordinated at the University of Bremen and involves 19 partners from all over Germany, including the MPI for Biogeochemistry. One main objective is to integrate already existing data infrastructures for molecular and ecological data in one central portal. Moreover, GFBio aims to offer a comprehensive service for the management of data. For this purpose, GFBio 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.

Additional 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
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