Minimum Information Standards for Essential Biodiversity Variables
Minimum Information Standards (MIS) are sets of specifications for describing datasets that aim to standardize data reporting and to maximize its discoverability and interoperability. While MIS have greatly contributed to enhance the distribution and reuse of datasets in the biological and biomedical sciences, their adoption in ecology and biodiversity sciences is still incipient. Here we present a community effort to generate minimum standards for Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs). The operationalization of EBVs require integrating heterogeneous datasets of disparate origin and, often, to combine information from different geographic areas and time periods. Furthermore, developing policy-relevant indicators from EBVs requires an additional level of integration between datasets that inform on different facets of biodiversity, e.g. at levels from species to ecosystems. MIS for Essential Biodiversity Variables is founded in the description of the EBV-data cube as the unifying framework to deliver interoperable biodiversity observations. They summarize aspects of the spatial and temporal domains of the datasets, as well as uncertainty and bias reporting. MIS also incorporate the GEOSS proposed principles for data management. Finally, a metadata publishing toolkit will be developed in order to ensure that EBVs are discoverable and used under the auspices of GEO BON.