Pensoft Publishers announced their data publishing policies and guidelines for biodiversity data in response to the increasing demands from institutions and scientists to open scientific data to anyone who would be interested to use them.
“An opinion survey amongst the authors, readers and editors of the Pensoft journal ZooKeys carried out in April convinced us that the majority of respondents (84 %) are willing to publish their data, so that to make them available to anyone to use, share or integrate with other data” said Dr Lyubomir Penev, managing director of Pensoft Publishers. Among the most important incentives to publish data, the scientists mentioned that “open data increases transparency and the overall quality of science, the potential for collaborative research as well as an opportunity to increase academic credit in the form of citations. Therefore, providing a service to ensure a permanent publication record for published data is of key importance for the success of the project”, adds Dr Penev.
The core of the data publishing project is the concept of “Data Paper” developed in a cooperation with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). Data Papers are peer-reviewed scholarly publications that describe the published datasets and provide an opportunity for data authors to receive academic credit for their efforts. Data Paper manuscripts contain all the important elements of the descriptions of the data (metadata) and are submitted to publishers by a "push-a-button" mechanism. Once submitted, the manuscripts undergo peer-review and editorial process. The Global Unique Identifier (GUID) of the published dataset is cross-linked to the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of the data paper, to allow further possibilities for data usage and data citation metrics.
Currently, Pensoft offers the opportunity to publish Data Papers describing (i) species occurrence data and checklists, (ii) Barcode-of-Life genome data and (iii) biodiversity-related software tools, such as interactive keys or others.
“Data publishing becomes increasingly important and already affects the policies of the world’s leading science funding frameworks and organizations. Opening and integrating biodiversity data will be the future basis to increase efficiency of monitoring the processes of global change, conservation of nature and saving life on our planet” concluded Dr Vincent Smith, coordinator of the European Union FP7 project ViBRANT, in the framework of which a part of the work has been carried out.