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GBIF: What you need to know about the Global Biodiversity Information Facility?

what is the GBIF?

The GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) is an international network and data infrastructure focused on providing open access to biodiversity data from around the world. It was established in 2001 to address the need for a global, standardized, and interoperable infrastructure for sharing biodiversity data.

The GBIF network includes over 100 countries and 1,500 organizations, and provides access to over 1.8 billion occurrence records, including information on species names, locations, and dates of observations. These data are used by researchers, policymakers, and the public to better understand and manage biodiversity, track the spread of invasive species, and address global environmental challenges.

The GBIF works with a wide range of stakeholders, including museums, herbaria, research institutions, government agencies, and citizen science projects, to collect, curate, and share biodiversity data. The organization also develops tools and standards to support data sharing and reuse, and provides training and capacity-building programs to help ensure the sustainability and quality of biodiversity data.

How to cite GBIF?

If you use data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) in your research or other scholarly work, you should cite GBIF as the data source. Here’s an example of how to cite GBIF in APA style:

Global Biodiversity Information Facility. (Year of data download). Title of dataset. Retrieved from

For example, if you download occurrence data for the species Panthera leo (lion) from GBIF in 2023, you could cite it as follows:

Global Biodiversity Information Facility. (2023). Panthera leo occurrence data. Retrieved from

Note that the “” link should be replaced with the specific Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for the dataset you used, which can be found on the GBIF website. Also, be sure to include the date that you downloaded the data, as this may affect the version of the dataset that you accessed. For more on citations directly from GBIF

8 Things you didn’t know about the gBIF

  1. GBIF was established in 2001 and is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  2. GBIF is a global network of more than 1,500 organizations and institutions from over 120 countries.
  3. GBIF provides access to over 1.8 billion occurrence records, representing more than 1 million species.
  4. GBIF is committed to promoting open data and has a policy that requires all data in its network to be made available freely and openly.
  5. GBIF works closely with the scientific community to develop and promote data standards and best practices for data sharing and reuse.
  6. GBIF supports a wide range of research and conservation efforts, including monitoring the spread of invasive species, tracking the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, and supporting efforts to protect endangered species.
  7. GBIF also provides tools and services to help researchers and others access and analyze biodiversity data, including data visualization and mapping tools.
  8. In 2020, GBIF celebrated its 20th anniversary and highlighted some of its achievements over the years, including the publication of thousands of scientific papers that have used GBIF data and the development of new tools and standards to support biodiversity research and conservation.

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