2013 CABIN call for data provider

The CABIN project (Central African Biodiversity Information Network) supported by the Directorate General of the Belgian Development Cooperation (DGD) and initiated by the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) is organising a second call for proposals for the mobilisation and on-line publication of biodiversity data from Sub-Saharan Africa during the last quarter of 2013.

This call is a continuation of different activities already undertaken by the CABIN project in partnership with the CEDESURK (Library and Documentation Centre for Higher Education and Research of the University of Kinshasa):

  • the installation of a portal database on Biodiversity in Central Africa in 2011,
  • the organisation of trainings on digitisation of collections in 2011 and 2013,
  • and the first call for data providers that took place in 2011.

The aims are to make the technical infrastructure of the CABIN project available to scientists who wish to publish collection data or observational natural history data on the Internet.

This will be achieved by:

  •  providing technical and scientific support during the process of preparing of the database infrastructure

  •  checking of the quality of the data

  •  preparing implementation workflow

  • ensuring the visibility of their institution and their collection in international scientific networks such as GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility)

The tools and standards to be used are  BioCASe/ABCD (Access to Biological Collection Database, developped by theBotanical Garden and Botanical Museum of Berlin) and the IPT (Integrated Publishing Toolkit)  to link the data to the search portal of these networks.

The expected benefits of this approach are:

  • The preservation of biodiversity and collection data belonging to the institutions of the region, by importing them in databases compatible with the latest standards used by the international scientific community


  • The technical capacity building of regional institutions by contributing to a concrete case of publication of computer data over the Internet and the management of scientific data


  • The creation of a technical platform that would ease the transmission of technical know-how to technical staff and students working on biological collections


  • The improvement of the visibility of these data over a network such as GBIF, enhance the activities and profile of  the institution holding the data to potential international partners.

The data will be physically installed on a server located at the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Belgium. Full remote access to the dataset as owner and data administrator will be guaranteed to selected scientists. It is also planned to install a copy of this at the facility of the scientists if this is technically possible and desirable.

 Please note that if the data provider comes from a country having already a GBIF node, a formal agreement for a cross collaboration between this national node, the Royal Museum for Central Africa and the data provider should be settled before the start of activity, that could modify the location of the database storing the data.

Technical documentation will be provided to participants during the project and will remain freely accessible to them also after the end of the project. We can however not guaranty of its up to datedness after the end of the project.  The selected computer technologies and related standards and technical protocols are free (open source) and freely available.

Data sharing will be done on a voluntary basis (without fees) and selected scientists, as owners of the data, will remain owner and manager of the published data. The data will be published according to the GBIF Data Use and Data Sharing Agreements (http://data.gbif.org/tutorial/datauseagreement;http://data.gbif.org/tutorial/datasharingagreement). The publisher will select a license agreement to define the terms in which the data can be used and shared. Please be aware that GBIF does not selectively share data or mask parts of data (the same license will apply to every potential users for the same data).

A basic knowledge of Windows and spreadsheet software is required to participate in this call, and regular Internet access as the support provided by the Technical Support CABIN project will take place at a distance.

The applicants will need to describe in detail the dataset they would like to publish in the framework of this call and attach a sample of these data in the format currently used by applicant.The applicants will have to provide all proof that they are either owner of the data or have the appropriate rights and authorisation to publish these data in the name of the rightful owner.

The Royal Museum for Central Africa offers technical support and helpdesk facilities within this call without extra charge.

Applications for this call have to be sent no later than 31st of August 2013.
Feel free to further distribute this call to any interested contact of yours.

The application form available here .
Completed form should be sent electronically to the following addresses: mergen.patricia@gmail.com;theetenfrk@yahoo.frSmirnova_larissa@mail.ru

Patricia Mergen
Project Manager
Unit 'Biodiversity Information' and cybertaxonomy
patricia.mergen @ africamuseum.be

Larissa Smirnova
Scientific Assistant
larissa.smirnova @ africamuseum.be

Franck Theeten
Database Manager and Trainer
franck.theeten @ africamuseum.be