The partners of the Biodiversity Community Integrated Knowledge Library (BiCIKL) project 2021-2024, financed by Horizon 2020 Excellent Science – Research Infrastructures program, grant agreement ID: 101007492 (the BiCIKL Project) established this Biodiversity Knowledge Hub (BKH) in recognition that: 

Excellent science is by its nature a cross-border endeavour and can only be achieved through cooperation in research and that such cooperation plays an important role in tackling global challenges;

Open science practices can be used to create a new European community of important research infrastructures in the field of biodiversity;

Access to interlinked and FAIR biodiversity data on specimens, collections, genetic sequences, taxon names, and taxon treatments extracted from the published literature is a key prerequisite for scientific excellence  and addressing global challenges.


The BiCIKL partners and future BKH contributors wish to establish a collaboration in the BKH to ensure its sustainability beyond the project lifetime, to:

Ensure continuous linking of data throughout the biodiversity research cycle from specimens, sequences, species, analytics, and publications to construction of the biodiversity knowledge graph and data reuse.

Ensure seamless discoverability of data via services described in the Fair Data Place (FDP), through globally unique identifiers exposed to individual and federated search engines from each participating infrastructure and across data domains.

Provide, facilitate, support and scale up open access to FAIR interlinked data, liberated from literature, natural history collections, sequence archives and taxonomic nomenclature in both human-readable and machine-actionable formats.  

Harmonise the existing standards, metadata, policies and technologies or develop new ones, where necessary, in order to provide and ingest FAIR data, thereby ensuring standard-aligned interlinking and interoperability;  

Optimise the interoperability, reusability and reproducibility of complex datasets assembled from different biodiversity-related domains and their supporting infrastructures, for the generation of novel research hypotheses and new knowledge.

Collaborate as envisioned in  an alliance for biodiversity knowledge that was described during the 2nd Global Biodiversity Informatics Conference “to align efforts to deliver current, accurate and comprehensive data, information and knowledge on the world’s biodiversity.”


The purpose of the Policies is to build the conditions under which organisations and research infrastructures can participate in the BKH. 

The contributors of BKH wish to work together towards supporting a new community of users to change the culture in the way biodiversity data are identified, linked, integrated and re-used across the research lifecycle. By doing so, the BKH will help to increase the transparency, trustworthiness and efficiency of the entire research ecosystem.

These Policies create a framework for cooperation. Nothing in this document is deemed to constitute an agency or a formal legal entity established by the BKH contributors, nor does it constitute any project or assignment or implies any financial obligation on either BKH contributor towards the other contributors.

Nothing in this document is deemed to constitute binding legal obligations among the contributors and/or towards any third party.


Each organisation or research infrastructure that agrees with the Policies can be a contributor  to the BKH. 

Each contributor may present its data, tools and services through one or more research infrastructures.

Each contributor shall designate a representative who will act in liaison capacity to the other members and/or to the end users. 


Each contributor shall:

  1. Contribute to the vision and mission of BKH.
  2. Maintain, update and ensure access to its own research infrastructure(s), data, tools or guidelines presented through the BKH website.
  3. Appoint a technical representative to respond to individual requests regarding its data, infrastructure and services available through the BKH website.
  4. Provide users with updated information on cancellation or changes to the provision of services or their description on the BKH website.


In addition to the founding contributors, new contribution to the BKH shall be open to any other entity that wishes to actively support the mission and activities of the BKH and meets the following criteria:

  1. Maintains OR hosts a biodiversity data infrastructure, services or network.
  2. Has applied for becoming a contributor by submitting the BKH On-line Application Form.
  3. Provided a Letter of Commitment stating that the contributor accepts and agrees with the Policies of the BKH.


The BKH contributors shall carry out the following activities:

  1. Contribute to the establishment and maintenance of the BKH website as a knowledge broker to facilitate access of interlinked, machine-readable, Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) biodiversity data connecting specimens, genomics, observations, traits, phenotypes, taxonomy, publications and others;
  2. Operate through collaboration and integration between state-of-the-art research infrastructures and networks in the field of biodiversity; 
  3. Leverage and support next-generation scholarly practices entirely based on open data and open science principles;
  4. Foster inter-disciplinary research cooperation and generation of data-driven new knowledge; 
  5. Support the objectives of the BKH towards the new community of users of interlinked biodiversity data across the entire research cycle;
  6. Build and improve researchers’ capacity through enhanced digital skills and competence in uptaking new levels and methods of access and re-use of linked open data;
  7. Supports the Fair Data Place (FDP) for access to interlinked corpora of biodiversity data and knowledge through the services provided by the participating RIs; 
  8. Adopt and support biodiversity-specific shared/common/interoperable standards which will enhance the flows of data and knowledge across science domains;
  9. Provide a one-stop access to guidelines, information pages, standards, training materials and links to external resources, and keep them updated and relevant;
  10. Expose information on novel tools and workflows developed for extraction, indexing, FAIRification, linking, management and re-use of data, including advanced text and data mining tools to open the vast corpus of inaccessible data and knowledge ‘imprisoned’ in publications.


  1. Each contributor shall bear its own costs and expenses, if any, incurred in connection with BKH and maintenance of its own services exposed through BKH. 


The BKH is hosted by LifeWatch ERIC and the Global Biodiversity Information Facilities (GBIF).


The services exposed on the BKH are provided by its partner organisations and research infrastructures for which they hold the full responsibility. 

All enquiries about a particular service should be sent directly to its provider.


The contributors may decide to terminate their contribution or cancel a service provided by them at any time through a written notice sent to the hosting organisation of BKH at least two months prior to the cancellation of the participation or service.


To: LifeWatch ERIC and GBIF
Hosting organisations of the Biodiversity Knowledge Hub (BKH)

For and on behalf of

Herewith, [ORGANISATION NAME] confirms that we wish to become a contributor to the Biodiversity Knowledge Hub (BKH) and present the research infrastructure(s) [NAME, website] and its data, tools and services for open and free access through BKH.

[ORGANISATION NAME] agrees to follow the Policies of BKH published on the website.







Name (in block letters)