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Symposium: Biodiversity Data Quality – concepts, methods and tools
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Arthur D. Chapman, Antonio M. Saraiva, Alexander M. Thompson
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Part of collection TDWG Proceedings 2017
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The goal of this 4th Symposium is to discuss concepts, problems, policies, metadata, methodologies and mechanisms related to Biodiversity Data Quality, which can be reused by the Biodiversity Informatics community collaboratively and incrementally. Data quality (DQ) is a major concern in Biodiversity Informatics. The distributed nature of data acquisition and digitization, the specific difficulties imposed by some of the data sub-domains, such as taxonomic data and geographic data, among other aspects, make it important to discuss DQ in biodiversity so that data made available in portals and other systems can be used for various purposes such as education, science, and decision-making. Although several initiatives in the Biodiversity Informatics community have been developing tools and best practices about DQ, there is no consensus related to concepts, metadata, policies, methodologies and tools about DQ. The size of DQ check pipelines has also posed challenges for existing methodologies and tools and may need to drive some of the discussion on concepts and policies. Previous symposia on DQ were held at the TDWG meetings in Florence, Italy/2013, Jönköping, Sweden/2014 and Santa Clara de San Carlos, Costa Rica/2016. As a result, a joint TDGW/GBIF Interest Group on DQ was proposed and approved in 2014. Subsequently three task groups were also created: TG1 – BDQ Framework, TG2 – BDQ Tools, services and workflows, and TG3 – BDQ Use cases. They tackle some of the most important issues identified by the attendants to the previous symposia.

The group has been able to meet between TDWG meetings to advance on its activities. In March, 2016, in São Paulo, Brazil, the IG and TGs conveners got together with members from two fitness-for-use groups supported by GBIF on species distribution modeling and agrobiodiversity, and have made good progress towards adopting a common conceptual basis and developing profiles for those two use cases. In October, 2016, in Melbourne, Australia, further advance was made focusing on another fitness-for-use group on alien and invasive species. Another meeting is scheduled to take place in Canberra, Australia, in May, 2017.

By the 2017 TDWG Meeting, in Ottawa, significant advances will have been made in all three Task Groups as well as in Vocabularies. In this 4rd Symposium we want to advance further on those discussions and increase participation of other stakeholders, keeping the same principles: discuss and share experiences on the ways we deal with DQ in the Biodiversity Informatics community, avoiding duplication of efforts and sharing knowledge.

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