The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is a major integrator of biodiversity occurrence data and thus a top priority for integration in EU BON. The GBIF informatics architecture provides unified access via a web portal and web services to a global network of data publishers. Through appropriate standards and tools, the infrastructure is designed to serve three main types of data: metadata (i.e., descriptions of datasets), primary biodiversity data and names data. These data are made available online by numerous GBIF Nodes for central harvesting by GBIF which indexes and integrates the content and makes it available for discovery, retrieval (e.g., via web services) and analysis.

GBIF registry

The GBIF registry acts as an authoritative source of information (metadata)  allowing management of the following entities:

  • Organizations: basic metadata, contacts and technical access points
  • Datasets: metadata (built around the GBIF EML Metadata Profile, but supporting the complete EML specification), contacts, technical access points, tags, machine tags
  • Networks: basic metadata and ability to relate datasets with networks.

The registry is accessible through a RESTful API  and is connected to many software platforms around the GBIF network.  As an existing robust platform, it can serve as a gateway platform for some activities that do not yet have an existing technical infrastructure, e.g., DaEuMon.

GBIF IPT (see also Tools repository)

Tool to publish and share biodiversity data sets and metadata through the GBIF network. Allows publication of two types of biodiversity data: i) primary occurrence data (specimens, observations), ii) species checklists and taxonomies. Although the IPT is the solution recommended by the Secretariat for publishers, data published using other software platforms such as DiGIR, BioCASE, or TapirLink will continue to be harvested and indexed by GBIF.

Since March 2015 the new version of IPT v.2.2 is available. It makes possible to publish sample-based data which come from different kinds of environmental, ecological, and natural resource investigations.  New terms were added to the Darwin Core (DwC) standard, supporting the discovery and application of richer, more quantitative information used in other areas of scientific discovery and research, particularly ecological monitoring and assessment.

INew version introduces the use of digital object identifiers (DOIs) for datasets, which gives users a stable, easy-to-use model for citing data sources. The new IPT release also introduces standardized machine-readable data licenses, emphasizing GBIF’s commitment to open access, and stricter quality control around the Darwin Core standard’s basis of record.


GBIF API provides registration, discovery and access and information services.The API is a RESTful JSON based API. In addition to the registry, it also covers four other categories: species, occurrence, maps, news feed.

Within EU BON, GBIF is addressing the following:

  • Harvesting and indexing of the Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity (KNB) metadata catalogue so that KND resources are discoverable through EU BON.
  • Providing access for authenticated users to the machine tagging API to allow simple annotation of content.
  • Via the registry, orchestrating persistent storage of datasets within DataONE so that persistence is guaranteed and data become discoverable through DataONE and available for DataONE workflows.