BiCIKL Project: User Requirements Survey for Biodiversity Scientists

BiCIKL Survey

We invite all biodiversity scientists to fill in this survey, which aims to identify gaps and trends in the ways in which biodiversity scientists access and use data in their research, by asking participants to describe use cases from their previous or projected work experience. The most appealing use cases will be invited to the open call for Trans-national access projects supported by the BiCIKL project.

BiCIKL is an EU project that aims to provide access and tools for seamless linking between the data along the biodiversity research cycle: specimens > sequences > species > analytics > publications > biodiversity knowledge graph > re-use.  BiCIKL will develop and implement new methods and workflows for an integrated access to harvesting, liberating, linking, accessing and re-using of subarticle-level data (specimens, material citations, samples, sequences, taxonomic names, taxonomic treatments, figures, tables) extracted from literature. 

Click here to fill in the survey.

Collaborations with the European Topic Centre on Spatial Analysis and Synthesis

ETC-UMA

On 18 February 2022, shortly after attending the Transfiere Forum, LifeWatch ERIC CTO Dr Juan Miguel González-Aranda remained in Malaga for a meeting with The European Topic Center on Spatial Analysis and Synthesis (ETC-UMA). The discussion centred around the definition of cooperation areas with LifeWatch ERIC, specifically for the integration of the “Mediterranean Biodiversity Protection Knowledge Platform” (MBPKP) as a LifeWatch ERIC VRE. All of this is based on the EnBIC-Lab2, Indalo, LifeWatch Alboran and other projects, in an area of cooperation within Horizon Europe where biodiversity is a key topic.

Information about ETC-UMA:

The European Topic Centre on Spatial Analysis and Synthesis (ETC-UMA) is an international research centre within the University of Malaga, which since 2011 has supported the development of knowledge to support evidence-based policy. The team has a wide expertise in a range of environmental and socio-economic domains, and its main areas of expertise include land management, ecosystem services, coastal and marine studies, environmental conservation, territorial development, resource efficiency, and soil mapping.

Information about MBPKP:

The MBPKP is an initiative of the Mediterranean Biodiversity Protection Community (MBPC), which brings together researchers, managers, public authorities and environmental institutions in 15 thematic projects under the umbrella of one horizontal initiative for the Mediterranean. Until 2019 this was known as PANACeA until 2019, with renewed support as MBPC until 2022.

The objective of this community is to foster an ecosystem based approach to nature conservation. This overarching coordinating initiative aims to provide: scientific syntheses with clear messages and recommendations for use in management and to inform and influence current policy in the form of factsheets, technical and policy papers, and media materials; spatial tools and databases to generate new knowledge and better integrate past and current datasets from related projects; and enhanced communication and learning through networking and showcasing the outputs of the whole community of projects in key events and fora.

Hiring: Scientific Collaborator for BopCo project 

BopCo

LifeWatch Belgium consortium members RBINS (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences) and the RMCA (Royal Museum for Central Africa) are looking for a Scientific Collaborator to join the LifeWatch BopCo project.

A postdoctoral researcher position is now open within the project “BopCo: A barcoding facility for organisms and tissues of policy concern“. The position will be administratively managed by RBINS, but functionally shared by RBINS and RMCA. The contract is for 1 year and applications must be submitted by 7 February 2022.

BopCo is an initiative of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO), the main activity of which consists of providing scientific services concerning the DNA identification of socially and policy-relevant organisms at the request of governments, companies, NGOs, associations and the general public.

For more details about the vacancy and how to apply:

ASSEMBLE+ Project Opens Call

Assemble Plus Call

Until 13 February 2022, researchers from industry and academia can apply for free access to top-class marine research infrastructures, thanks to the opening of the ninth call of the ASSEMBLE Plus project (Association of European Marine Biological Laboratories Expanded).

 ASSEMBLE Plus offers access to over 32 marine stations and institutes in 13 countries across Europe and overseas for basic and applied research in the marine science field (see overleaf). Researchers from both industry and academia can apply for on-site and remote access. Sponsorship includes travel and subsistence for two persons (one return trip per person, up to 30 days). Successful applicants will be able to carry out their project free-of-charge (subject to some limitations).

Please visit assembleplus.eu for updates on available services, call dates, application procedures and any further information on current and upcoming calls for access.

EOSC Future ‘Ask Me Anything’ Webinars

EOSC Future Webinars

Starting in February 2022, EOSC Future (one of the projects in which LifeWatch ERIC is currently involved) will organise ‘ask me anything’ webinars.

On the first Tuesday of every month, participants will have the chance to ask questions about a variety of EOSC services and resources.

During these exclusive Q&A sessions, resources and resource categories available on the EOSC platform will be presented, discussed and, in some cases, tested out.

Each session will take place online from 14.00-15.00 CET

The first 3 webinars are listed below:

  • 01/02/2022: Data storage
  • 01/03/2022: Software 
  • 05/04/2022: Compute services

Have a question about another EOSC service that is not listed above? More dates and topics are coming throughout 2022-2023. Eventually, the webinars will cover all resource categories on the EOSC portal.

Ask me anything about…

The EOSC Future ‘ask me anything’ webinars aim to encourage uptake among users as well as show potential service providers how their resources could be featured through EOSC.

For each session, EOSC community members, experts and project coordinators will present an EOSC resource. As needed, there will be a demonstrative use case to show how a specific type of resource can be accessed and used via the platform. For all webinars, particular emphasis will be placed on answering any and all questions from the audience.

Registration

Register for specific sessions by following the links below:

Visit the EOSC Future website for updates on upcoming webinar topics and dates.

LifeWatch ERIC Takes the Baton: Final Meeting of LIFE AdaptaMED Project

LIFE Adaptmed

On Thursday 19 November, LifeWatch ERIC CTO, Dr Juan Miguel González-Aranda, delivered a keynote speech a the Adaptamed Symposium in Málaga, which marked the end of the LIFE Adaptamed project. His speeh was entitled “LifeWatch ERIC in a nutshell”, and showed the main goals and e-services provided by LifeWatch ERIC in the context of the ENVRI cluster. The presentation took place during the session named “New technologies for monitoring – ecosystem management and visualisation” together with Dr Regino Zamora, Professor of Ecology from Granada University, Dr Antonio Ortiz, from the Water and Environment Agency of Junta de Andalusia (AMAYA), chaired by Dr Francisco-Javier Cano-Manuel, Chief of the Environmental Management Department of Junta de Andalusia in Granada.

The LIFE Adaptamed Project has as main goal obtaining recommendations for the protection of Ecosystem Services in the Mediterranean area. These recommendations would be carried out through the development of adaptive management actions, focusing on the goods and services provided by their natural spaces: for example, those addressed to soil protection, the regulation of water resources and climate itself, the prevention of desertification, the maintenance of fundamental ecological functions to favour the self-organisation of ecosystems (e.g., pollination or seed dispersal), in a global climate change scenario in which socio-economics impacts should also be taken into consideration.

You can watch the recording of the event here (in Spanish). For Dr González-Aranda’s presentation, skip to 7:03:00.

New BiCIKL project to build a freeway between pieces of biodiversity knowledge

BiCIKL

In a recently started Horizon 2020-funded project, 15 European institutions, from 10 countries, representing both the continent’s and global key players in biodiversity research and natural history, deploy and improve their own and partnering infrastructures to bridge gaps between each other’s biodiversity data types and classes. LifeWatch ERIC is one of these institutions. By linking their technologies, these project partners are set to provide flawless access to data across all stages of the research cycle.

Three years in, BiCIKL (abbreviation for Biodiversity Community Integrated Knowledge Library) will have created the first-of-its-kind Biodiversity Knowledge Hub, where a researcher will be able to retrieve a full set of linked and open biodiversity data, thereby accessing the complete story behind an organism of interest: its name, genetics, occurrences, natural history, as well as authors and publications mentioning any of those.

Ultimately, the project’s products will solidify Open Science and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) data practices by empowering and streamlining biodiversity research.

Together, the project partners will redesign the way biodiversity data is found, linked, integrated and re-used across the research cycle. By the end of the project, BiCIKL will provide the community with a more transparent, trustworthy and efficient highly automated research ecosystem, allowing for scientists to access, explore and put into further use a wide range of data with only a few clicks.

“In recent years, we’ve made huge progress on how biodiversity data is located, accessed, shared, extracted and preserved, thanks to a vast array of digital platforms, tools and projects looking after the different types of data, such as natural history specimens, species descriptions, images, occurrence records and genomics data, to name a few. However, we’re still missing an interconnected and user-friendly environment to pull all those pieces of knowledge together. Within BiCIKL, we all agree that it’s only after we puzzle out how to best bridge our existing infrastructures and the information they are continuously sourcing that future researchers will be able to realise their full potential,” explains BiCIKL’s project coordinator Prof. Lyubomir Penev, CEO and founder of Pensoft, a scholarly publisher and technology provider company. 

Continuously fed with data sourced by the partnering institutions and their infrastructures, BiCIKL’s key final output: the Biodiversity Knowledge Hub, is set to persist with time long after the project has concluded. On the contrary, by accelerating biodiversity research that builds on – rather than duplicates – existing knowledge, it will in fact be providing access to exponentially growing contextualised biodiversity data.

Follow BiCIKL Project on Twitter and Facebook. Join the conversation on Twitter at #BiCIKL_H2020.

LifeWatch ERIC in BiCIKL Kick-Off Meeting

BiCiKL

The kick-off meeting for the Biodiversity Community Integrated Knowledge Library (BiCIKL) took place last week on 27-28 May! LifeWatch ERIC is proud to be one of the fourteen official partners of this Horizon 2020 project,* contributing to the establishment of open science practices in the biodiversity domain as it follows its own mission to become a worldwide provider of content and services for this research community.

But what is BiCIKL?

BiCIKL is an EU-funded project coordinated by Pensoft that aims to unite key European and international research infrastructures across ten countries in their quest to facilitate open science and fair data practices in the biodiversity scientific community. Its four key products have been identified as: a community equipped with tools for searching and accessing FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) interlinked data; an interlinked corpora of knowledge for biodiversity and related research domains; automated tools and workflows for data liberation and FAIRisation from literature; and semantic-based journal production workflows for publication and reuse of FAIR biodiversity data.

What exactly does it do?

BiCIKL plans to build a Biodiversity Knowledge Hub, providing access to data, associated tools and services at each stage and along the entire research cycle. Speaking technically, it will focus on harvesting, liberating, linking and reusing subarticle level data literature (specimens, material citations, samples, sequences, taxonomic names, taxonomic treatments, figures, tables, etc.), whether PDF- or XML-based. It will provide seamless linking and usage tracking of data along the line: specimens → sequences → species → analytics → publications → biodiversity knowledge graph → re-use.

What role does LifeWatch ERIC play?

LifeWatch ERIC, which already carries out specialised work in the areas of semantics and usage tracking, will be key in helping BiCIKL develop the methods, tools and workflows required for the realisation of BiCIKL goals. Its two main tasks will be to analyse the technical requirement of users and implement the Biodiversity Knowledge Hub (BiKH). It will participate in testing and streamlining interoperability and the alignment of findability, reuse and accessibility. Furthermore, LifeWatch ERIC will contribute to defining and implementing the necessary operational framework, as well as identifying BiKH components and translating the functional diagramme and operational framework into an educational cloud.


BiCIKL’s website is currently under construction, but you can follow its activities on Twitter.


*grant agreement No. 101007492, duration May 2021-2024