Symbiota has a long history of helping collections manage and mobilize data in themed data portals. Symbiota portals include built-in tools that allow collections to publish their data directly to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) without having to install, manage, or upload through an IPT. Integrated Symbiota tools provide a quick and easy pathway for collections to publish their data, especially if they have little IT capacity at their institution.
Because our missions are so well-aligned, in 2022, the Symbiota Support Hub became an associate participant node of the Global Bioidversity Information Facility (GBIF). This allows Symbiota to be more internationally recognized as a biodiversity data mobilizing tool, enabling the publishing of even more data into the GBIF ecosystem.
The Symbiota Support Hub’s unqiue status as an associate participant node is synergistic with rather than competing against the activities of the country nodes. Our work closely complements the engagement and support that the country nodes provide to collections in their node networks. The Symbiota Support Hub as a publisher provides an avenue through which collections can mobilize their data. Data published to GBIF from a Symbiota portal are still included countries’ data summary and activity reports.
For example, specimens collected in the U.S. that are housed in institutions endorsed by the Symbiota Support Hub instead of the U.S. National Node are included on the U.S. country summary page and activity report.
Similarly, even specimens originating from a U.S. collection that are endorsed by the Symbiota Support Hub are included on the U.S. country summary page as data from that country.
In this way, Symbiota can provide a data mobilization service to the international community that supports and bolsters the activities of the GBIF national nodes. We aim to make data publishing easy for curators and collections managers, empowering greater data access for all.