Topic: Short Update on the current status of NBN Development
I have been passed a short piece of text regarding our (JNCC's) position to some of the issues regarding the current status of development on the NBN Gateway, to try and keep our users and contributors in the loop I have posted the text below;
I wish to put out our current position with regards to GBIF and the development of Record Commenting functionality.
GBIF – As you may or may not be aware GBIF consulted on changing their terms and conditions around submitted datasets, at various points this included moving to a CC0 stance. At the same time a consultation was undertaken on NBN access controls and reporting requirements.
This threw up a number of issues between the NBN Terms and Conditions and GBIFs. Additionally the removal of the ‘view only’ control (as part of Gateway 5) would potentially cause a number of additional datasets that previously would not have been pushed to GBIF to be uploaded a decision was taken to suspend updating datasets until the issues were resolved.
It is my understanding that the forced move to CC0 is off the table, so the worst clash has gone, but there are three remaining issues:
Reporting: We guaranteed to data providers that any viewing or downloading of records would be tracked on the Gateway and reported to administrators. We cannot track data on the GBIF portal, so data passed to there could be downloaded and viewed freely and we would not track this.
Legal Issues: There are a number of legal issues around the NBN Terms and Conditions and their incompatibility with the GBIF portals. You grant us the right to distribute data under the NBN’s, we cannot arbitrarily re-licence that data. This is important to a number of data providers.
Data Withdrawal: GBIF were looking into a mechanism around DoIs that would mean that data providers could not remove data from the GBIF portal. Given that we provide a mechanism for you to change access controls to withdraw or blur data, we needed GBIF to be able to reflect your wishes.
In order to solve the above, we have decided that the best way to tackle the situation would be to develop an opt-in mechanism for exporting to GBIF. Dataset administrators could opt datasets in and acknowledge that they were accepting GBIF’s T&Cs. This is still the plan. However, the NBN Gateway budget took a significant hit this year as part of general Government cut backs, and unfortunately development was halted.
In parallel the NBNT is currently working with GBIF to try and align the two mechanisms better but in the interim the publication to GBIF has been frozen.
Record Commenting –The feedback from the NBN strategy workshops has raised this as valuable to reinstate and also highlighted the importance of unique IDs for records in the UK NBN system. Work is continuing around developing the functionality for record verification and record commenting, and this will be tested by Gateway User Group first. However, the pace of work has also been affected by the cuts. We plan to get a first release of some functionality before the User Group this financial year.
I hope this answers your questions, and I wish the news were better. The Gateway has always operated under a small budget and a ‘best effort basis’. Government cutbacks have caused the pressure on that budget to increase, and so we cannot with all the will in the world, proceed any better than we are.
Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Monkstone House, City Road, Peterborough PE1 1JY, UK