GloBI provides various ways to expose and explore existing web-accessible species interaction datasets. This page describes some of these methods.

Species interaction datasets are continually retrieved and linked to external data sources such as taxonomies and ontologies. This continuous process allows the data contributors add new data or apply other updates without the need to go through a data submission process. In a way, GloBI acts as an ecological search engine: indexing existing datasets and making these datasets easy to discover and use. Ideally, an an interaction dataset includes scientific taxonomic names and/or taxonomic identifiers for all interacting taxa. Also, when available space and time properties should be included in most granular way possible. In addition, a citation or reference should be included to describe where the interaction data came from.

Ways to Contribute Data

Various methods exist to share existing interaction data through Global Biotic Interactions:

  1. Take a picture, upload it to and identify the interacting species using observation fields. For example see Scott Loarie. 2013. Haemorhous mexicanus eating Heteromeles arbutifolia. Accessed at on 28 Aug 2014. With a few exceptions, most research-grade iNaturalist interaction data is automatically included in GloBI. For a full list of iNaturalist observation fields GloBI imports, see the iNaturalist to GloBI interaction map . For specific instructions, please see Ken’s how-to-add-an-inaturalist-interaction document
  2. Have a look at the Dataset Management page, create a discoverable GitHub repository (or fork and tailor our template dataset repository). Your (forked) data repository will now be automatically included in GloBI and should appear on the status page within a couple of days. Use GitHub<>Zenodo integration make you data citable (see next step for more info).
  3. Publish your dataset on zenodo and add your publication to zenodo’s Global Biotic Interaction community. For more information, see an example data publication.
  4. Open an issue and provide a (permanent) url to a web-accessible existing interaction dataset along with a data citation. Any structured data format / API will do, and csv/tsv file formats are preferred. Examples includes references to openly accessible datapaper (e.g. Raymond et al. 2011, Ferrer-Paris et al. 2014), data hosted in github (e.g. Hurlbert 2014) or publicly accessible APIs (e.g. iNaturalist). For citations, DOIs are preferred, but any will do as long as they describe the source of the data. If you don’t have one already, services like figshare, dryad and zenodo allow you to do.
  5. In case you are publishing a (data) paper that contains species interaction data, cite Poelen et al. 2014. The GloBI citation help us to easily find your paper and make the published data easy to access.
  6. In case the data is not (yet) web accessible, please open an issue describe the dataset and we can have a discussion on how to make the data available through GloBI.

Since the automated updates occur on a daily basis, it may take a day or two for updates or corrections to be available through GloBI and related libraries like rglobi. For more information, see Poelen et al. 2014, GloBI homepage.