The BiCIKL project establishes a European starting community of key research infrastructures, researchers, citizen scientists and other stakeholders in the biodiversity and life sciences based on open science practices through access to data, tools and services.
In June 2022, BiCIKL invited submissions of Expression of Interest (EoI) to the first BiCIKL Open Call for projects. The purpose of the call was to solicit, select and implement biodiversity data-related scientific projects that will make use of the added value services developed by the Research Infrastructures that are partnering in the BiCIKL project.
After the Open Call closed in November 2022, the applications were assessed by a set of external reviewers and an internal review committee. The outcome of that process was the selection of 8 projects to proceed.
That call resulted in the selection of 8 projects, detailed below.
The work we foresee with the selected projects is twofold:
We need and want to assess real-world problems and make the best possible use of our data and technical capabilities. This will greatly assist in defining the long term development goals of the participating Research Infrastructures and improve the way they can technically and operationally work together to deliver greater scientific value.
Lestid Damselflies: linking digital data sets, treatment materials citations, collections databases, and phylogenies, to enhance data exchange
New tools to highlight and shortlist enigmatic fungi from eDNA datasets for further scientific exploration
Development of a virtual Frahm collection on the basis of 80,000 bryophyte specimens, transcribed and semantically enriched by Citizen Scientists
Catalysing a culture change in the way biodiversity data are published using the unique semantic publishing workflow of the Biodiversity Data Journal
Automating the interlinkage between GBIF data and WoRMS taxonomy to enhance the data flow from GBIF to OBIS
Applicants can submit a brief EoI for their project. The simple application form of maximum of 500 words covers:
The purpose of this step is to initiate a dialogue between the applicants and the BiCIKL partners around the nature of the proposal; to uncover the scale and the complexity of the proposal and its overall do-ability. This should help ensure each project is optimally framed for the capabilities and resources available within BiCIKL.
It may be that some applicants are requested to modify their proposals at this stage.
Based on the EoIs, we would invite applicants to submit a full application and from the pool of applicants ultimately select between four and six projects for implementation.
Projects will be selected using a combination of:
The final selection will be made by the BiCIKL Access Provision Panel of distinguished scientists.
This will form a key part of the final reports for Work Package 4 and the BiCIKL project overall.
In addition to the application for the open call projects, there is a possibility to publish novel types of articles demonstrating (re)-usage of linked biodiversity data in dedicated article collection in the Biodiversity Data Journal (Impact Factor: 1.54, contact: email@example.com).
The types of articles that can be published and the conditions for publication are as follows:
The authors are expected to use explicit Globally Unique Persistent and Resolvable Identifiers (GUPRI) or other persistent identifiers (PIDs), where such are available, for the different types of data they use and/or cite in the manuscripts (specimens IDs, sequence accession numbers, taxon name and taxon treatment IDs, image IDs, etc.)
Manuscripts must use data linked between at least two of the BiCIKL’s partnering research infrastructures (e.g. GBIF, BOLD, DiSSCo, Zenodo, INDSC (ENA), PlutoF, OpenBiodiv, TreatmentBank, Biodiversity Literature Repository, Biodiversity Heritage Library, SiBILS, Catalogue of Life). Highly welcome are also submissions that include additional data from research infrastructures which are not part of BiCIKL (e.g. iDigBio, OBIS, Atlas of Living Australia, Encyclopedia of Life, GLOBI).
Global taxon reviews in the form of “cyber-catalogues'' are welcome if they contain links of the key data elements (specimens, sequences, taxon treatments, images, literature references, etc.) to their respective records in external repositories. Taxon names in the text should not be hyperlinked. Instead, under each taxon name in the catalogue, the authors should add external links to, for example, Catalogue of Life, nomenclators (e.g. IPNI, MycoBank, Index Fungorum, ZooBank), taxon treatments in Plazi’s TreatmentBank or other relevant trusted resources.
Taxonomic papers (e.g. descriptions of new species or revisions) must contain persistent identifiers for the holotype, paratypes and at least most of the specimens used in the study.
Specimen records that are used for new taxon descriptions or taxonomic revisions and are associated with a particular Barcode Identification Number (BIN) or Species Hypothesis (SH) should be imported directly from BOLD or PlutoF, respectively, via the ARPHA Writing Tool data-import plugin.
More generally, individual specimen records used for various purposes in taxonomic descriptions and inventories should be imported directly into the manuscript from GBIF, iDigBio, or BOLD via the ARPHA Writing Tool data-import plugin.
In-text citations of taxon treatments from Plazi’s TreatmentBank are highly welcome in any taxonomic revision or catalogue. The in-text citations should be hyperlinked to the original treatment data at TreatmentBank.
Hyperlinking other terms of importance in the article text to their original external data sources or external vocabularies is encouraged.
Tables that list gene accession numbers, specimens and taxon names, should conform to the Biodiversity Data Journal’s linked data tables guidelines.
Theoretical or methodological papers on linking FAIR biodiversity data are eligible for the BiCIKL collection if they provide real examples and use cases.
Data papers or software descriptions are eligible if they use linked data from the BiCIKL’s partnering research infrastructures, or describe tools and services that facilitate access to and linking between FAIR biodiversity data.
Manuscripts that contain or describe any other novel idea or feature related to linked or semantically enhanced biodiversity data will be considered too.
We recommend authors to get acquainted with these two papers before they decide to submit a manuscript to the collection:
Researchers will learn to formalise their narratives by using community agreed standards for terms, ontologies and vocabularies. Also, researchers will be asked to use explicit persistent identifiers where these exist. Research questions based on such, semantically enriched data, are for example:
How linking taxa or OTUs in my study to external data will contribute to a better understanding of the functions and regional/local processes within faunas/floras/mycotas or biotic communities;
How my and other researchers' data and narratives (e.g. specimen records, sequences, traits, biotic interactions, etc.) can be re-used to support more extensive and data-rich studies;
How to streamline taxon descriptions and inventories including such based on genomic and barcoding data;
How general conclusions, assertions and citations in my article can be expressed in a formal, machine-actionable language;
Others, taxon- or topic-specific research questions that will benefit from richer, semantically enhanced FAIR data.