Conservation and biodiversity research is increasingly relying on global data sets, which in turn require a strong research infrastructure to be in place. Because this type of research crosses national boundaries, there is a clear need for this infrastructure to be interoperable and part of a global network. The EU-funded CREATIVE-B (Coordination of research e-infrastructures activities toward an international virtual environment for biodiversity) initiative was established to bridge the gaps between national life sciences research infrastructures. CREATIVE-B worked with organisations in Australia, Brazil, China, South Africa and the United States, as well as with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and GEOSS/GEOBON, to coordinate global life sciences research infrastructures. A co-organised international Global Biodiversity Informatics Conference in 2012 assisted in engaging wider communities. The project created a High Level Stakeholders Group to ensure a common approach to funding and maintenance of national research infrastructures, such as data centres. This Group established a joint action plan to develop international biodiversity indicators to encourage interoperability. CREATIVE-B identified barriers to global interoperability and developed recommendations to address these barriers. Recommendations included improving the global standard and quality of data, and sharing tools, workflows and other technical resources. Finally, project partners developed recommendations for legal interoperability, such as adhering to open source principles and developing common policies. Overall, the work of CREATIVE-B will lead to high-impact and effective life sciences research around the world.
Life sciences, research infrastructures, biodiversity, biodiversity indicators, global interoperability