Ocean Biodiversity Informatics
International Conference on Marine Biodiversity Data Management
Hamburg, Germany: 29 November to 1 December 2004
Intro Objectives Programme Publications Statement Participants People

Ocean Biodiversity Informatics
conference statement
Hamburg 1st December 2004

We note that increased availability and sharing of data
  • is good scientific practice and necessary for advancement of science,
  • enables greater understanding through more data being available from different places and times,
  • improves quality control due to better data organisation, and discovery of errors during analysis,
  • secures data from loss.
The advantages of free and open data sharing have been determining factors while developing the data exchange policy of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.

We call on scientists, politicians, funding agencies and the community to be proactive in recognising data's

  • overall cost/benefit,
  • importance to science,
  • long-term benefits to society and the environment,
  • increased value by being publicly available.
We also call upon employers of scientists, academic institutions and funding agencies and editors of scientific journals, to
  • promote on-line availability of data used in published papers
  • promote comprehensive documentation of data, including metadata and information on the quality of the data
  • reward on-line publication of peer reviewed electronic publications and on-line databases in the same way conventional paper publications are rewarded in the hiring and promotion of scientists
  • encourage and support scientists to share currently unavailable data by placing it in the public domain in accordance with publicly available standards, or in formats compatible with other users.

A draft of this statement was first circulated at the beginning of the conference. This draft was presented and commented upon by all the conference participants during the last session, and during a final consultation through e-mail.