The NBN partnership collates biological records from many different sources, using many different techniques.

Inevitably the quality of this data can vary. Some is contributed by novices just starting out with an interest in watching wildlife, some is contributed by internationally recognised experts.

Biological records are used in many ways, which can lead to significant outcomes, for example in research, conservation, policy work and development control.

The group will focus on:

  • NBN’s Strategic Aim 1 which is “Record, collect, diversify, enhance and mobilise biological data”. A Network strategic priority is to grow our capacity and capability to record and collect high quality biological data.
  • NBN’s Strategic Aim 2: “Make Biological Data and Information available to everyone”.

Quality control and verification

Group Focus

Work will focus on increasing verification capacity in the UK to ensure quality control and standards, through the use of NBN Record Cleaner rules and other tools, and to provide the ability to distinguish between data of varying quality. It will also focus on supporting the current network of verifiers, ensuring they have the resources and equipment they need. Finally, there will be a focus on succession planning for quality assurance and verification.

A wide range of people are involved in the capture of biological records through online recording platforms.

Some systems set out to engage the general public and others focus on more skilled recorders or those with a specialist taxonomic interest. This diversity of systems offers users and NBN data partners wide choice and are undoubtedly a great asset to the NBN, however a need exists to coordinate these activities and provide guidance and standards for developers to ensure efficiency of resources and capture of quality data.

Biological recording online

Group Focus

Work will focus to ensure good quality data are available for sharing regionally and nationally via the NBN data infrastructure as quickly, and as accurately, as possible.

The Group will focus largely on setting standards for online recording, but will not be prescriptive about which system Network partners should be using.

This Group will address the needs of the various users. Those that record and collect, quality assure, curate, aggregate, analyse or use data captured via online recording systems. In this way, the group will facilitate the NBN Data Flow Pathway and thereby contribute to delivering the overall NBN Strategy 2015-20.

A principal focus will be to deliver an online recording strategy for the UK to ensure system consistency and standardisation.

Improving biological data flows

The efficient flow of data from a recorder to a data user is of paramount importance to members of the NBN and its data partners.

Both recorder and user may be the same person or organisation but often they are not and are separated by a complex data flow involving verifiers, curators and aggregators.

Group Focus

Work will focus on improving biological data flows, through developing an agreed and simplified data flow model for the NBN family to ensure efficient and effective data flow at all spatial scales, and in turn accelerating data flow through NBN systems by publicising the data flow model, establishing data flow agreements and creating a data flow tool to track records through the system.

The immediate priority for this group is to develop an assessment criteria to analyse the current data flows within the Network. This will inform an exercise to identify where the current blockages are occurring and which stages of the data flow pathway are working efficiency.


Initial work within this Group

NBN data sharing badges

The document below outlines a proposal to implement a system of promoting NBN data partners within their data capture sites (online recording site, app or website) by awarding data sharing badges.  This will also make it easier for partners, volunteers and potential funders to see which projects contribute to the NBN.

NBN Data Sharing Badge – a proposal

This document shows options for how the badge could look:

Data Sharing Badge Design