Biodiversity Information Science and Standards : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
Considerable Progress in Russian GBIF Community
expand article infoMaxim Shashkov‡,§, Natalya Ivanova
‡ Institute of Mathematical Problems of Biology RAS – the Branch of Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Russia
§ Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Sciences Russian Academy of Science, Pushchino, Russia
Open Access


Russia is a huge gap on the open access global biodiversity map of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). National biodiversity data are stored in various sources including museums, herbaria, scientific literature and reports as well as in the private collections and local databases. The best known and largest of the Russian herbarium collections are the collections stored in Komarov Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of Science (>6 M sheets) and Moscow University (>1 M sheets). The largest zoological collection is located in Zoological institute of the Russian Academy of Science, with >60 M specimens. But most of the national biodiversity data is not yet digitized. The national biodiversity portal as well as the list of Russian biodiversity data sources are still absent. Despite this, projects and other activities are implemented to mobilize a national data using international biodiversity data standards.

Currently Russia is not a GBIF member, but in the last 5 years, more than 1.6 M occurrences were published by Russian publishers through (69 datasets at the end of March 2019). The largest GBIF data provider in Russia is the Lomonosov Moscow State University. The Digital Moscow University Herbarium includes 971,732 specimens collected from Russia and many other countries. The Russian GBIF community is steadily expanding (Fig. 1); this is reflected in an increase in the number of publishers and published datasets. The current GBIF network infrastructure in Russia includes 5 IPT (Integrated Publishing Toolkit) installations in Saint Petersburg (two), Pushchino (Moscow region), Moscow, and Syktyvkar (Komi Republic).

Figure 1.

Data mobilization progress in Russia

Russian-language biodiversity informatics materials are collected and presented from an informal web site with three main sections:

  1. data publishing through GBIF,
  2. Russian GBIF activities, and
  3. Russian biodiversity data sources.

Additional sections are dedicated to iNaturalist citizen science system and Russian Specify Software Project community. We provide technical helpdesk support not only for Russian publishers, but also for Russian speakers from the former USSR. The national mailing-list (via google groups) aims to provide a platform for news sharing. Now it includes >240 subscribers.

Since the end of 2014, regular biodiversity informatics events are being held in Russia. Last year, two data training courses, funded by GBIF (project ID Russia-02 - " data mobilization activities") and ForBIO (Research school in biosystematics), were organized in Moscow and Irkutsk region with the participation of 29 Russian researchers. National biodiversity informatics conferences were held in Apatity (2017) and Irkutsk (2018).

We believe Russia already has a well established community that can become the basis for further development when Russia becomes a GBIF member.


Russia, data mobilization, GBIF

Presenting author

Maxim Shashkov

Presented at

Biodiversity_Next 2019