The GBIF Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT) is an advanced tool for registering and publishing biodiversity data. The most important function of this tool is to take data from files, in separate files or stored in a database, and to pack them in a standardised zipped file, a so-called DarwinCore Archive (DwC-A). These zipped files can be exchanged quickly and easily online or downloaded directly. GBIF automatically extracts the DarwinCore Archives, unzips them and places the contents in the GBIF data index. The data can then be viewed, filtered, aggregated, downloaded or forwarded via the GBIF portal.
Data in the IPT
The GBIF IPT is used for three types of data:
- Primary biodiversity data, or "occurrence data". This concerns data about observed or collected individual species.
- Taxonomic checklists. Checklists are extensive files on the occurrence of certain groups of organisms in a specific area. The emphasis is on the taxonomy. Examples include "Dragonflies of the Netherlands" or "Birds of Northern Europe".
- Meta-data. The IPT can store a very complete package of meta-data, that is, data about occurrence or checklist data. This meta-data is stored according to a commonly used meta-data standard (Ecological Metadata Language). The meta-data can be exported in a number of different ways. If the package of meta-data is sufficiently complete, this data can even be exported in the format of a so-called "Data Paper". These Data Papers are published in various scientific journals.
In the IPT, the meta-data can be published along with the occurrence or checklist data, or separately. If only the meta-data are online, it is still possible to find the occurrence or checklist data, but it is not possible to download them directly.
DarwinCore Archives (DwC-A)
By way of the IPT, data are stored in DarwinCore Archives (DwC-A). These zipped data packages contain:
- The primary occurrence or checklist data, standardised according to the DarwinCore data standard, stored in text files.
- The meta-data stored via the Ecological Metadata Language standard, in an XML file.
- A Descriptor File that states where which info is located, stored in an XML file.
These DarwinCore Archives receive a unique URL within the IPT, GBIF registers this URL and retrieves the data as soon as the IPT user indicates this should happen. The data are often immediately visible and available in the central GBIF portal.
Additional specific data can also be supplied in so-called DarwinCore Extensions, there are extensions for measurements, non-scientific species names, genetic information, etc.
The IPT includes RSS feeds, presents usage statistics and has an extensive administrative module that makes it possible for the IPT to be used by multiple users, each with different privileges. Style Sheets make it possible to adapt the IPT to suit the corporate or institutional identity of the data publishing organisation.
The IPT runs on standard web servers on Windows, Linux, Unix and Apple systems.