Internet-based Biodiversity Database Workshop April 24 - 27, 2000


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On Thursday afternoon a post conference session was convened with 23 workshop participants and the workshop committee members in attendance. The purpose of the session was to further discuss and synthesize the prioritized list of constraints and issues identified in the Wednesday afternoon plenary session.

During the session five main themes emerged, data security and access, data governance, standards and protocols, individual CDC capacity, responsibility for sustaining and maintaining the data system. The topics identified were determined by the group to be the most critical constraints or issues that needed to be addressed in the next two phases of this project.

  1. DATA SECURITY AND ACCESS
    • Data must be secure from unauthorized outside access
    • Establishment of differing levels of data access based on user identity
    • Development of policies and procedures for the display and access of data on private lands
    • Flexibility for differences in data display and access policies among the various CDC
    • Development of methods to handle data display and access with regard to national/state/provincial policies on "Freedom of Information" or other similar legislation

  2. DATA GOVERNANCE
    • Balance of control on data access and communication flow such that individual CDCs are active participants
    • Development "Memoranda Of Understanding" or "Memoranda of Agreement" to allow individual CDC participation
    • Development mechanisms to allow users to identify and interact with individual CDCs

  3. STANDARDS AND PROTOCOLS
    • Standardization and Consistency in data and generated reports
    • Development of a mechanism for addressing and minimizing data misuse and/or misinterpretation
    • Development of standardized metadata
    • Development of standards for spatial data
    • Defined role and obligation of the larger ABI network to assist individual CDC meet standards

  4. INDIVIDUAL CDC PROGRAM CAPACITY
    • The group identified that institutional and/or political barriers may exist that could prevent some CDCs from having the capacity to fully participate in this project. However, there was general agreement that the timeline for this project was sufficiently long that these barriers may be overcome with time.

  5. SUSTAINING AND MAINTAINING THE SYSTEM
    • The issue of sustaining and maintaining the data system was considered to be extremely important. Although this issue is not critical in continuing with Phase II (construction of the prototype system), a recommendation was made that a process be implemented that would outline the institutionalization of the full data system. This process would be carried out concurrently with Phase II and submitted with the Phase III proposal.