Global Core Biodata Resource Selection 2023Frequently Asked Questions
This Frequently Asked Questions page is designed to assist applicants to the Global Core Biodata Resource (GCBR) selection process by answering questions that frequently arise. It is a companion to the primary reference: Global Core Biodata Resources: Concept and Selection Process. The FAQ will be updated from time to time in light of input from the biodata resource community.
What is the Global Biodata Coalition?
The Global Biodata Coalition (GBC) is supported by research funders and aims:
- To be a forum for funders of biodata resources to better coordinate and share approaches for efficient management and growth of this infrastructure and share strategies.
- To stabilise and ensure sustainable financial support for the global biodata infrastructure, with a focus on an identified and prioritised set of Global Core Biodata Resources that are crucial for sustaining the broader infrastructure.
What is the GBC’s definition of a biodata resource?
What are the key criteria being used to select Global Core Biodata Resources?
The selection of GCBRs is based on multiple quantitative and qualitative indicators that fall into five categories:
Scientific focus and quality of science
Community served by the resource
Quality of service
Funding, governance and legal infrastructure
Where can I find the complete list of indicators that will be used for GCBR selection?
The full list of indicators is shown in a table in the Appendix of the primary publication “Global Core Biodata Resources: Concept and Selection Process” available at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7468719.
Why does the application process have an Expression of Interest step?
The expression of interest questions, in particular the eligibility criteria, have been designed to help the applicants gauge for themselves whether it is worth committing the significant staff effort required for a full application. Assembling the data required to give an account of a biodata resource across the complete set of indicators used to select GCBRs will be time-consuming for the biodata resource personnel lodging the full application. Correspondingly, reviewing the full applications across all the indicators will be time-consuming for the Review Committee. The GBC does not wish to waste the time of either biodata resource personnel or the Review Committee, so will use the Expression of Interest step to screen the applications for likelihood that they could fulfil the criteria for a core biodata resource. Only those that show characteristics in line with GCBR expectations will be invited to submit a full application.
Who will have access to the data I supply in my Expression of Interest and Full Application?
Who will review the applications?
Both the Expressions of Interest and the Full Applications will be reviewed by members of the GBC Scientific Advisory Committee, with additional experts in biodata infrastructure provision brought in where necessary to provide the necessary standard of critical review across all subject domains represented in the applications. The names and affiliations of reviewers who have contributed to the Global Core Biodata Resource selection process are listed on the GBC web site.
Will only one biodata resource be selected for each scientific domain/subject area?
No. Each application will be evaluated on the basis of potential for attaining GCBR status (Expression of Interest stage) and excellence in terms of the indicators (Full Application stage), without reference to other applications. Thus it is possible that more than one biodata resource for a given scientific domain or subject area could be represented on the initial list of GCBRs and, conversely, that other scientific domains be unrepresented.
What if I would like to submit an application for my biodata resource but will be unable to meet the deadline?
Late applications will not be accepted. However, there will be other opportunities to apply in the future. It is anticipated that future selection rounds will be run every two or three years.
Will the full list of applicant biodata resources be made public?
No, only the list of those biodata resources selected as GCBRs will be published.
What if the primary language of my biodata resources is not English?
The application form allows for biodata resources presented in any language to apply —though for the initial rounds of selection it is necessary that an English language version is freely available. Please see “Why is the call for applications limited to biodata resources made available to users in the English language?” in the next section.
Will successful applicants be eligible for new funding?
The GBC is not itself a funding agency, and thus is not in a position to provide direct support to the selected Global Core Biodata Resources. It is however a stated aim of the GBC to stabilise and ensure sustainable mechanisms for financial support for the global biodata infrastructure, focusing on the identified and prioritised set of Global Core Biodata Resources. The definition of that GCBR set is necessarily the starting point. The rigour of this process will signal to funders that the selected biodata resources have been through robust review which ascertains their utility to the whole community. This will facilitate the development of rational long term financing of the biodata resource infrastructure.
What is the benefit of entering the GCBR selection process?
The selected GCBRs will benefit in several ways:
- GCBR status will provide confidence for researchers selecting repositories to archive their primary data, for example to comply with funders’ and publishers’ open data requirements.
- Being included in the recognised list of GCBRs means that funding agencies and science publishers will recommend use of those biodata resources to their grantees and authors.
- For managers of developing data resources, databases that have been identified as GCBRs will provide examples of good practice, fostering collaboration and interoperability.
- For managers of databases defined as GCBRs, the GCBR community will provide a forum for sharing expertise, driving collaboration, and exploring potential solutions to the challenge posed by their precarious funding.
- Open data fires contemporary biological and applied research and allows researchers to access and reuse data, driving discovery. Working toward GCBR status will inspire biodata resources to implement more permissive open data licenses so that they more fully reflect the FAIR principles, to the benefit of everybody.
Expression of Interest
What data are requested in the Expression of Interest stage?
You can see the questions asked at the Expression of Interest stage in the “Data_Required_GCBR_Expression_of_Interest_Suppl_Data” file that accompanies the publication “Global Core Biodata Resources: Concept and Selection Process”.
My biodata resource charges a fee for some services we offer. Does this mean I can’t apply, given that one of the Eligibility Criteria stipulates it must be free of charge?
What is meant by “a formal advisory body” in the context of a Scientific Advisory Board?
The GCBR selection process requires that the biodata resource has a Scientific Advisory Board or other equivalent body: a strong governance structure includes an independent Scientific Advisory Board, which allows community input and provides permanent oversight.
Is it necessary that my biodata resource has a specific, named, licence to fulfil the open data Eligibility Criterion?
For deposition databases, what does “accept deposition …. from the wider international community” mean? How wide does it need to be?
Why is the call for applications limited to biodata resources made available to users in the English language?
My biodata resource is part of a consortium. Should my application be made as part of the consortium or as an individual biodata resource?
What data are requested at the Full Application stage?
You can see the questions asked at the Full Application stage in the “Data_Required_GCBR_Full_ Application_Suppl_Data” file that accompanies the publication “Global Core Biodata Resources: Concept and Selection Process”.
Why do we need to supply three years of Data Resource Usage data?
The characteristics of a GCBR include that it provides a well-established and stable service. Requesting an average, or a single year’s data, would not allow the reviewers to see the usage of the data resource as a trajectory over time. If you do not have a particular data point for your biodata resource for one/more of the Data Usage items requested (for example some biodata resources collect usage data every 2 years, rather than every year) please include those that you do have, and include an explanatory note.
Is there any guidance for the various detailed data points requested for Indicator 2a Data Resource usage?
Appendix 2 “Methods for Community and Service Indicators” in this article will be helpful for working up data entries for Indicator 2a:
Stockinger, H, et al., (2018). Plan for collation of metrics and quality data at the ELIXIR Hub.
Why is there a choice between providing Web Analytics and Log Analytics for Usage data?
In order to evaluate each applicant biodata resource it is necessary to ascertain the scale of usage of each biodata resource. The GBC does not wish to cause unnecessary work for any biodata resource to provide this data. Some biodata resources operate in institutes or other settings which routinely gather usage data as part of their regular operations, either using web analytic or log analytic approaches, and therefore we accept either set of data for this purpose. We recognise that the technical differences between these approaches make it challenging to compare between different methodologies, but so long as the biodata resource presents data across the three years requested using the same approach for each year, then an understanding can be reached within the constraints of the technology used.