Environmental and biological research is becoming central to major societal challenges related to the Earth's ecosystems and climate dynamics.
To handle the scale and complexity of the scientific questions being addressed, there is a strong need to integrate knowledge because biological data are currently scattered and difficult to share. We propose here a coherent infrastructure to improve scientific data integration and preservation.
The project brings together national key players providing environmentally related biological data and services to develop the ‘German Federation for Biological Data' (GFBio). The overall goal is to provide a sustainable, service oriented, national data infrastructure facilitating data sharing and stimulating data intensive science in the fields of biological and environmental research. The federation will build on proven data archiving infrastructures and workflows such as those of PANGAEA for environmental data and the resources of Germany's major natural history collection data repositories. The new infrastructure will improve and integrate these existing components within a common technological and organizational framework.
The planned infrastructure will address data management requirements of a large range of stakeholders including individual scientists, natural history collections as well as larger research networks. It will be capable to handle highly interdisciplinary heterogeneous data. Within the current project, special consideration will be given to genome data, ecological and environmental data as well as collection related data. Services provided by the GFBio will cover the full life cycle of research data from field or real time data acquisition to long term archiving and publication as well as analysis and re-use of these data.