Contributing Data to the OBIS Network

If you are the custodian of a dataset of marine species distributional data of potential interest to OBIS (for guidelines on what these might be, refer to the "FAQ" link above), and are happy to provide public access to your data, there are two principal mechanisms by which you can connect your data to the OBIS network.

OBIS Australia hosts your data

OBIS Australia can host a "snapshot" of your data on the OBIS Australia IPT server. This means that the data will be exposed to the International OBIS portal on your behalf, and will be identified as your data being served by OBIS Australia. The dataset hosted on the OBIS Australia server can be updated at intervals, for example if the dataset is dynamic (i.e., the content changes from time to time). To arrange this, please contact the node manager.

There are some additions to the data and assciated metadata that assists OBIS to merge records into their database.

You host your own data via an IPT

As an alternative and not the preferred option, if you have a sufficiently robust IT (computing) infrastructure, you can serve the data directly to the international OBIS portal. Instructions for setting up an IPT provider are contained on the International OBIS website via this link. At OBIS Australia we also have experience installing and using IPT. OBIS International prefers a single node from Australia for harvesting purposes.

You will also need to map your data to the OBIS data schema (information provided here), for which we recommend making an extract (dump) of the data you wish to serve in a single table which matches the OBIS schema as closely as possible (this will speed up the publication of your dataset). OBIS Australia staff can provide advice and assistance and you also need to follow the advice on using ScientificNameId and adding 'marine, harvested by iOBIS' to the metadata.

Once your IPT installation is working and your dataset is visible, you can register your service with the International OBIS portal. Your data will be connected to the OBIS network and visible to searches from OBIS Australia as well as any of the other entry points to the OBIS system. It should be noted that some contributors have data in multiple databases, which they are able to connect to the OBIS network via a single IPT installation without losing the specific identity of each database.

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