Aspect For Individual Researchers For Institutions and Projects For the Community/
Use of Persistent Identifiers Use persistent identifiers for identification of data sets (see Data Citation above), and for referencing of important dimensions as described below. Ensure that the mechanisms for obtaining PIDs for data sets are available and affordable for researchers in the institution. Assist, within RDA and other initiatives, with the development of a suite of integrated services for PID resolution. [1], [2], [4], [10], [42]
Knowledge Networks Ensure that dimensions of data (see below) make use of recommended name services, and use such name services for provision of keywords in metadata. Adopt institution-endorsed name services and best practice in respect of implementation. Develop standards and infrastructure that allows individual data element annotation, and encourage the use of formal vocabularies and ontologies for such annotation. [4]
Persons and Individuals Obtain an ORCID for use as a persistent identifier in metadata and data Encourage the use of ORCID within the institution and community [1]
Sample Ensure that individual samples (physical samples or biological specimens/ tissue, video, audio, images, signals) are assigned a persistent identifier so that analysis and resulting data from multiple sources can be collated. Consider the use of BCO (Biological Collections Ontology). Develop institutional best practice in respect of sample identifiers, and make use of global identifier services appropriate to the sample type. Support international efforts, such as now emerging in RDA, EU BON, and in GBIF, to explicitly identify and link samples to observations. Assist with the adoption of BCO as a community standard. [4], [10], [11], [12], [13], [45]
Protocols and Lineage of Data Make use of published and citable protocols and methodology where possible. Publish own protocols independently and assign a persistent identifier. Use these as references in metadata and describe data lineage properly. Encourage the use of published protocols and the publication of institutional or community of practice protocols. Within GEO BON, work towards the development of published and peer-reviewed protocols for monitoring of all EBVs at all relevant scales. Consider hosting a registry of protocols for EBVs. [4], [10], [42]
Location, Spatial Coverage, and Stratum Use a standardised vocabulary for referencing locations in data. If institutional or community guidance is not available, use as a definitive reference for locations on earth. Provide point or bounding box coordinates – preferably in WGS 84 Lat-Lon projection – for study areas defined in metadata. Develop institutional guidelines aligned with national or regional directives, while taking cognisance of international standards that may emerge in this respect. Collaborate towards specific community standards (for example using extensions to Darwin Core) to explicitly indicate and reference plots and their coverages/ strata in data and metadata. Develop a robust guideline for location, spatial coverage, sampling plot, and stratum references. [1], [10]
Time Use UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) to denote events within the present, recent past or future (+- 100 years). Adhere to guidelines for denoting time on historical, paleo/ geologic, and far future scales. Promote institutional guidelines in respect of time, and implement protocols for synchronisation of automated data sensor date and time stamps. Work towards a definitive community consensus for referencing time in the immediate (+- 100 years) observation space, historical, paleo/geologic, and far future time scales. [1]
Molecular Sequence and Genetic Data Implement the guidelines and standards promoted by the Genomics Standards Consortium (GSC), including MIGS, MIMS, and MIMARKS – depending on the data type. Promote the guidelines published by GSC within the institution. Continue the current collaboration between GEO BON and GSC with a view to widespread adoption of the standards and its continuous improvement. [4], [10]
Taxonomy Use the services registered with the Global Names Architecture (GNA) in the first instance to verify taxonomy. Use widely reviewed sources such as Catalogue of Life. Ensure that taxonomy guidelines for data and metadata are are aligned with regional directives and guidelines. Develop best practice in respect of taxonomy referencing, considering use cases that involve changes in taxonomic reference. [1], [4], [10], [14], [37], [38]
Traits and Functional Diversity Use one of a number of ontologies/ vocabularies aiming to standardise descriptions of traits (Structured Descriptive Data (SDD), the Plinian Core, the Phenotypic Quality Ontology, and the Animal Natural History ontology). Agree on institutional use of a specific vocabulary or ontology. Mobilise the community to develop interoperability or brokering between the main trait vocabularies and ontologies. Encourage publication of trait datasets via Encyclopedia of Life TraitBank [4], [10], [45]
Habitat, Biome, Biogeographic and Biotope Classification Use the descriptions of biomes and biogeographic regions as promoted or directed by national or regional authorities, or ENVO. It is likely that institutional guidelines will be subject to national or regional directives in this regard. Work towards a brokering or interoperability arrangement to align regionally and nationally adopted biome and bioregion descriptions, and define relationships between them. [10], [33]
Life Stage No defintive vocabulary or ontology for life stages is available. Use the approach proposed by MorphoBank to create a checklist of characteristics and states that cannot be duplicated within your own body of work. Develop institutional best practice to guide data published by researchers. Develop an authoritative vocabulary within a standards body such as TDWG as a community consensus. [1]
Species Relationship and Biological Interaction Use high-level classification – such classification is less contentious – as well as lower level classifications pertinent to the data at hand. Authoritative services in this regard are not yet available. Consider use of PCO (Population and Community Ontology) Develop institutional best practice to guide data published by researchers. Develop an authoritative vocabulary within a standards body such as TDWG as a community consensus. Use the PCO as a basis of such development. [1], [45]
Ecosystem Functions and Services No specific guidance available at present. The best general ontologies to use include the NASA SWEET Ontology and ENVO, if applicable. Work towards development of standardised vocabularies and ontologies for description of ecosystem functions and services. [1], [32], [33]