We need funding to pursue biodiversity research, but funding is under huge pressure. One area for which there is potential is in biodiversity informatics because we are witnessing a paradigm shift in the way we handle data. Now it is expected that data will be openly accessible, presenting huge opportunities if only the data can be found when needed.
There is a strong need for a community voice to present the funders with a set of priorities. We have successfully built a number of infrastructural components, such as INSDC, GBIF, Catalogue of Life, but we lack the bridges to allow users to integrate elements from these resources to address a simple question.
With the encouragement of the European Commission, the FP7 funded projects BioVeL, ViBRANT, agINFRA are launching a consultation to write a White Paper on biodiversity informatics. We have made a list of potential chapters with a brief outline of what they might cover here:
This document is a public Google doc. The approach we propose is to ask for volunteers to lead the development of each chapter.
* If you can identify a new chapter, please add it to the Chapters list
* If you are prepared to lead a chapter, put your name against the chapter, open a new public googledoc and past the link into the chapters list.
* Please do not create chapters dedicated to specific disciplines, such as molecular biology, because there is no way to prioritise one discipline against another.
* Three funded EU projects will administer the production of the white paper. agINFRA, BioVeL and ViBRANT will supply. We will edit the chapters for continuity and will produce an executive summary.
* If you are able to join the editorial group, email one of the organisers. We expect this to work by self-nomination.
The European Commission would like access to such a community view in forming the funding calls under Horizon2020. It is possible that other funders may pay similar attention. It makes no sense to do this over just Europe. We recognise that biodiversity is global and we need global priorities.
27 April: initial draft chapters; propose group meetings with dates in May
1 June: refined chapters merged by editorial group
22 June: draft executive summary and edited chapters
July: public meeting
1st Sept: Publication of white paper
This timetable is tight because the Horizon2020 funding calls will be drafted in the last quarter of 2012. To have real benefit in Europe, we need to move quickly.
Alex Hardisty <hardistyAR_at_cardiff_dot_ac_dot_uk>
Dave Roberts <dmr_at_nomencurator_dot_org>
Hannu Saarenmaa <hannu_dot_saarenmaa_at_uef_dot_fi>
Norman Morrison <norman_at_nmorrison_dot_info>
Peter van Tienderen <P_dot_H_dot_vanTienderen_at_uva_dot_nl>
- MS11, "Ecosystem Functioning & Valuation Web Services and Workflows," Budapest, Hungary, June 6-7, 2013
- European Biodiversity Informatics Conference, Italy, September 3-6, 2013
- BioVeL Third Annual Meeting and General Assembly, Budapest, Hungary, September 30-October 4, 2013
- INTECOL 2013
London, UK, August
18-23, Booth E3