TDWG conference 2023: shaping the future of biodiversity data standards

22 November 2023

The Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) conference, held from October 9th to 13th in Tasmania (Australia), brought together experts and stakeholders from the global biodiversity research community.

For years, the annual gathering has been acknowledged as a crucial platform for sharing insights, innovations, and knowledge related to biodiversity data standards and practices. Key figures from Pensoft, Biodiversity Data Journal’s publisher, took part in the event, presenting new ways to improve the management, accessibility, and usability of biodiversity data.

Prof. Lyubomir Penev, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pensoft, gave two talks that highlighted the importance of data publishing. His presentation on "The Biodiversity Knowledge Hub (BKH): A Crosspoint and Knowledge Broker for FAIR and Linked Biodiversity Data" underscored the significance of FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data standards. BKH is the major output from the Horizon 2020 project BiCIKL (Biodiversity Community Integrated Knowledge Library) dedicated to linked and FAIR data in biodiversity, and coordinated by Pensoft.

He also introduced the Nanopublications for Biodiversity workflow and format: a promising new tool developed by Knowledge Pixels and Pensoft to communicate key scientific statements in a way that is human-readable, machine-actionable, and in line with FAIR principles. Earlier this year, Biodiversity Data Journal integrated nanopublications into its workflow to allow authors to share their findings even more efficiently.

Chief Technology Officer of Pensoft Teodor Georgiev contributed to the conference by presenting "OpenBiodiv for Users: Applications and Approaches to Explore a Biodiversity Knowledge Graph." His session highlighted the innovative approaches being taken to explore and leverage a biodiversity knowledge graph, showcasing the importance of technology in advancing biodiversity research.

Many authors and editors at BDJ also spoke at the TDWG conference, including none other than Vince Smith, the journal’s editor-in-chief, who is Head of Digital, Data, and Informatics at the Natural History Museum. He delivered insightful presentations on digitizing natural science collections and utilizing AI for insect collections.

In a rapidly changing world where biodiversity conservation is of paramount importance, the TDWG Conference was a chance for an optimistic, open discussion on the future of data-driven biodiversity research.

Revisit TDWG 2023 by checking out the highlights on X (formerly Twitter), where the conference participants reported and discussed everything that was going on during the week.


Read all abstracts presented at TDWG 2023 organised by symposium in the official TDWG journal, Biodiversity Information Science and Standards.


To find more about BiCIKL and its key milestones and products, check out the project’s open science collection in Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO Journal).

The BiCIKL consortium is also supporting the “Linking FAIR biodiversity data through publications: The BiCIKL approach” article collection in Biodiversity Data Journal. There, authors can publish free-of-charge papers that demonstrate advanced publishing methods of linked biodiversity data. The submission deadline is April 15th 2024.

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