We want to encourage the sharing of data through the NBN Gateway, so have provided a simple guide to help you.

To share your data with the NBN Gateway we need three simple things from you, all contained within the NBN Data Provider Pack, which also contains full instructions for preparing a species dataset and the supporting information to accompany it.

To share your data you need to:

  1. Register as a data partner on the NBN Gateway
  2. Decide which data you wish to share and format the data into the NBN Exchange Format
  3. Describe your data via the dataset metadata form to aid people in understanding and using your data

NBN Data Provider Pack SEPT 2015

Guide to sharing data

This simple step by step guide will assist you through this process but if you require further help do not hesitate to contact us at support@nbn.org.uk.

Step 1. Register as a data partner

Firstly, you must be registered on the NBN Gateway by completing the NBN Organisation Registration Form within the Data Provider Pack.  Please return this to data@nbn.org.uk

You also need to complete the NBN Gateway Data Provider Agreement, an agreement between you the data provider, and us the NBN Trust.  This can be found in the Submitting a Species Dataset folder within the Data Provider Pack.

Step 2. Format your data

The next step is to decide which data you wish to share and how you want to organise your data.

A dataset is a collection of records that are loaded and administered as a single unit on the NBN Gateway. We can host a dataset of any size.The critical thing to bear in mind when deciding what records to include in a single dataset is that the access you grant to it applies to all the records it contains (excluding those marked as sensitive). In other words, the dataset is the unit of access administration. You may find it helpful to group data into datasets based upon similar access constraint.  This will maximise the flexibility of access you are able to grant different users and groups.

Once you have done this, we require you to format the data into the NBN Exchange format.  This captures the essential information required for a set of biological records – what was seen, who recorded it, where was it and when was it seen.

A guide to the NBN Exchange Format can be found in the Submitting a Species Dataset folder within the Data Provider Pack

The NBN Exchange format is very flexible and allows you to split a dataset into separate surveys or extend it to include any additional measurements you may have made.

Once you have created a dataset, use the NBN Record Cleaner to check there are no errors which may prevent your data being loaded into the NBN Gateway.

NBN Exchange Format Handy tips

The text file comprises one record per row with values separated by tabs. It must fulfill these following rules:

  • The first row of the data section must contain column names, selected from the list of reserved names shown in the Guide to the NBN Exchange Format within the Data Provider Pack, plus any additional columns you want to include.
  • Each record within the exchange format file must occupy one line only. Tab and end-of-line characters must not appear anywhere else in the file.
  • There is no need to include optional columns that don’t contain any data in your dataset and the columns can be in any order.

Step 3. Describe your data

Finally, complete the dataset metadata form for your dataset, also found in the Data Provider Pack.  

The metadata form is divided into six sections

  • Section A – Dataset providers details
  • Section B – Datasets Administrator details
  • Section C – Instructions for loading
  • Section D – Level of public access
  • Section E – Dataset description
  • Section F – NBN Gateway Data provider agreement

You can find out more about metadata on the metadata standard page

You can also share your metadata as an XML header, the structure for which can be found below:

XML header

XML header_2

XML header_3