Symbiota Discussions is space for starting conversations that can influence how Symbiota is developed and improved over time. Because Symbiota is a community-driven resource, all Symbiota users are welcome and encouraged to share their ideas and requests through the symbiota-docs GitHub repository.

What to discuss?

  • Funding – discuss ways of getting your favorite tools funded for development (there’s only so much time to go around)
  • Problems/Bugs – bring up a problem you are having with your portal instance. Please mention the portal you are using when you start your discussion
  • Q&A – ask for help with Symbiota, your collection, or digitization
  • Show & Tell – describe tips, tricks, or developments from your Symbiota portal
  • Wish List – contribute ideas for tools and developments to the Wish List section. If these suggestions are upvoted by other users, they may be considered for future development.

Getting started

To participate in the Symbiota Discussions community forum, you must have a GitHub account (sign up here). These accounts are free, and if you sign up using an email that you will always have access to, your account can be useful for years to come, even if you change employers. Joining GitHub will enable you to participate in Symbiota-related discussions as well as other important conversations about how biodiversity data are shared. For example, other GitHub forums that might be of interest include:

  • tdwg/dwc-qa : a public forum for documenting questions and answers about the Darwin Core standard
  • gbif/portal-feedback : a repository for collecting feedback on the GBIF.org website
  • Many Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) task groups maintain repositories to document their work, e.g. tdwg/material-sample

How to create a new discussion

Do you have an idea about how to improve your portal? Starting a new discussion is very easy. Log into GitHub.com and select “New discussion” to begin sharing your ideas.

How to “upvote” a discussion

Do you like someone’s idea? Once you have an account, select the arrow next to the topic and–that’s it!–you’ve cast your vote! You can also comment on discussion topics to keep the conversation going.


Recording of the Symbiota Support Group meeting held on Dec. 6, 2021. The recording is bookmarked to begin playback at the beginning of an explanation of GitHub [5:42], which is followed by an explanation of how to contribute to Symbiota Discussions [12:00].
Recording of the Symbiota Support Group meeting held on Jan. 9, 2023. The recording is bookmarked to begin playback at a refresher orientation to GitHub and Symbiota Discussions [46:57].