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This article is part of the supplement: Data publishing framework for primary biodiversity data

Open Access Research

Indicators for the Data Usage Index (DUI): an incentive for publishing primary biodiversity data through global information infrastructure

Peter Ingwersen12 and Vishwas Chavan3*

  • * Corresponding author: Vishwas Chavan vchavan@gbif.org

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Royal School of Library and Information Sciences, Birketinget 6, DK 2300, Copenhagen, Denmark

2 Oslo University College, Pb 4 St. Olavs plass, 0130 Oslo, Norway

3 Global Biodiversity Information Facility Secretariat, Universitetsparken 15, DK 2100, Copenhagen, Denmark

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BMC Bioinformatics 2011, 12(Suppl 15):S3  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-12-S15-S3

Published: 15 December 2011

Abstract

Background

A professional recognition mechanism is required to encourage expedited publishing of an adequate volume of 'fit-for-use' biodiversity data. As a component of such a recognition mechanism, we propose the development of the Data Usage Index (DUI) to demonstrate to data publishers that their efforts of creating biodiversity datasets have impact by being accessed and used by a wide spectrum of user communities.

Discussion

We propose and give examples of a range of 14 absolute and normalized biodiversity dataset usage indicators for the development of a DUI based on search events and dataset download instances. The DUI is proposed to include relative as well as species profile weighted comparative indicators.

Conclusions

We believe that in addition to the recognition to the data publisher and all players involved in the data life cycle, a DUI will also provide much needed yet novel insight into how users use primary biodiversity data. A DUI consisting of a range of usage indicators obtained from the GBIF network and other relevant access points is within reach. The usage of biodiversity datasets leads to the development of a family of indicators in line with well known citation-based measurements of recognition.