1

Topic: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

The need to clarify data flows, and also to celebrate the commitment of NBN data partners to sharing their data as part of our national Network is well overdue.  The NBN Strategy consultation process, and the Online Recording Working Group has highlighted the need to implement a system of ‘NBN data sharing badges’ which can be embedded into online recording sites, project websites and promotional literature to indicate who is currently sharing data through the NBN Gateway.

Tom Hunt, ALERC and Rachel Stroud, NBN Secretariat will be running a workshop at the NFBR conference on the 12th May to discuss this proposal further and we would very much value your input into this project in advance of this workshop.

Two documents for your consideration can be found on the Online Recording Working Group webpage on the NBN Website here:
http://nbn.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/n … ng-online/

Here you will find two documents

-Firstly a design brief of how others use badging systems, with some mock designs to get your creative juices flowing.

-Secondly, a project brief with a some background to the proposal and a set of consultation questions. 


Please do not feel restricted by the questions in the project brief though your feedback on these questions/topics will be extremely useful to guide the workshop and take this proposal forward. 

Please use this forum thread to feed your thoughts into this proposal and to get a conversation going around how such a system would work, what the categories should be, how they should be awarded etc.   


Please send feedback or comment via the forum by the 6th May or to support@nbn.org.uk 


Please note that there will be further opportunity after the NFBR conference to feed into and finalise this proposal.



Many thanks in advance and we look forward to hearing everyone's views

Post's attachments

DataSharingBadge - a proposal.docx 7.98 kb, 7 downloads since 2016-04-13 

You don't have the permssions to download the attachments of this post.

2

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

Hi Rachel
Good to hear that this idea is coming to fruition. I've a few comments to make from my perspective. In the main, before designing the badges and associated system I think it's really important to identify the reasons why a badge is needed. The best reason I can think of is to reduce ambiguity and confusion amongst recorders who do not know if a given record submission route will result in a publicly available record on the Gateway or not. Given this aim, having a system with a variety of different badge types will increase confusion - the information I want is simply a clear yes or no. The badge design must also be immediately recognisable so having several different ones will make this worse. I suppose having a second tier for records which go to the Gateway in some restricted form (blurred or private datasets) would be useful. Part of the badge design could be the stipulation that clicking on the badge displays a metadata page or popup with further information (verification process, LERC or scheme/society managing the dataset, average time to reach Gateway, privacy or blur info where relevant). That means you just need an "NBN public sharing" and an "NBN restricted sharing" badge. I'm not sure I'd have a badge for intention to share data.

We might need to think about systems like iRecord where there is a community of different dataset providers receiving the records, each with potentially different data flows and handling of dataset precisions. Do we display the badge separately on each and every data entry form?

Finally, I'd vote for simplicity in the design of the badge. Some of the designs in the proposal would need you to read the badge to try and interpret it. The badge might borrow from the typical sharing icons we use on mobile devices?

Best wishes
John

John van Breda
Biodiverse IT

3

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

I think John makes some good points, particularly with reference to potential confusion amongst people viewing these badges. 

Bearing in mind that it is envisaged that these badges are also suggested for use on promotional literature, the basic design needs to be single colour and fairly simple.  What you don't want is printed literature to be made "out of date" because the badges on-line are dynamic and change depending on when a dataset was last updated.  Similarly, on data provider websites, you just want a simple image file badge to use, not something that requires fiddling with because it has mouse-over meta-data data text being displayed.  It is a simple "I send data to the NBN" indicator.  Printed literature cannot display metadata either.

iRecord - NBN dataflows are dependant on how each organisation wished to manage their data.  A good number of recording schemes prefer to download data from iRecord, incorporate this into their own existing (larger) dataset and upload the combined dataset to the NBN.  The badges need therefore to be applied to the organisation or recording scheme, not to the iRecord records.  What is lacking in iRecord are an easily viewable list of those recording schemes that are involved with iRecord.  Some sort of searchable "verifcation organisation" page is needed on iRecord so you can see that, for example, records of bees are verified by BWARS.  This is where you would display some info about the recording scheme and stick the badge if they send data to the NBN via their own pathway.  I don't think there is a need to badge every recording form or page.

Badges should be an indicator that data is uploaded onto the NBN.  Adding different tiers / stars / badge colours / levels to the badges only increases the potential for confusion, are "3 star" recording schemes better than "1 star" schemes.  Given that many recording schemes are very small and organised on a volunteer basis, I think it is unfair, and somewhat demotivating, to have the badges "graded" or small volunteer recording schemes "penalised" because they do not have the time to update NBN datasets on a regular (short)  time frame.  Similarly, "grading" badges or suggesting that schemes have "room for improvement" because small schemes volunteer schemes do not have the time to go through (confusing) data licencing documentation or other hoops is unfair.  Basicly, the badge should just say "This scheme puts its data onto the NBN", that is all.  If you are not a "3 star scheme", will you use the badge at all?

Copy / paste of the questions with comments

Should the badges be known as
1.    NBN Data Sharing Badge
2.    NBN Data Partner Badge
3.    NBN Data Partner Sharing Badge

None of the above:  Should be "NBN Dataset Provider"
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Awarding
How should the badges be awarded?
1.    When the data are on the NBN Gateway
2.    When a data sharing agreement has been made with the NBN Secretariat

When a dataset is uploaded to the NBN
---------------------------------------------------------------------
What about data which are shared to a LERC, National Scheme or Society or any public body and then mobilised onto the NBN Gateway?

No - these badges should only be for those putting data onto the NBN directly, or else anyone would be able to claim a badge on the basis of sending a record off to their LRC
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Motivation
Will these badges motivate you to share your data with the NBN, via the NBN Gateway?
1.    Yes
2.    No

No:  Not really, a lot of websites are covered in badges and logos, this would be "just another badge".  Perhaps a "nice to have" but not motivational.  Consider also that many small schemes don't even have a website or promotional literature so the whole concept of badges is of no use to them.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Badge structure
Below two different approaches are proposed.

Approach 1 Here it is proposed that three tiers of *** badges are awarded.

***  - Data on NBN Gateway at full resolution
**   - Data on NBN Gateway at blurred resolution
*    - Intention to share data

Approach 2 Here it is proposed that three different badges are awarded depending on the route of data flow.
●    Institutional badge (for LERCs, Societies, Wildlife Trust etc)
●    Badge for Online Recording Systems that share data directly
●    Platinum Badge (i.e. full resolution, fully open, shared within two months of data capture)

1.    Which approach would be most suitable?

Neither.  Tiered badges are unfair and demotivational to small schemes, as is "grading" a badge based on data resolution - what about datasets with protected species of confidential locations that need to be blurred.  Grading badges by timescales is also unfair to small volunteer schemes who may only update their NBN dataset on an annual basis.  Different badges for different routes is confusing.  Stick with a single "NBN Dataset Provider" badge.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.    Are there other options we could consider?

Yes - the badge should just be a simple indication that the organisation uploads data to the NBN - "NBN Dataset Provider" badge
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3.    Do we need to reflect the age of the data by including an ‘up to date’ as a category?   What is ‘up to date`?

No - unfair to small schemes.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.    Do we need to show the level of data resolution in the badge or is this over complicating the scheme?

No - overcomplicated.  Keep it simple
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Data licenses
Data licenses (CC0, CC-BY, CC-BY-NC, OGL) all have their own ‘badge’ and so it is proposed that these are not incorporated into the NBN Data Sharing Badge

1.    Do you agree that this is the correct approach?

Yes - data provision should not be associated with data licences.

4

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

What I remember from when I first heard about this idea, which would have been around 2012-13, it was proposed as a solution to the problem of anyone being able to knock up an online recording site, which could send data all over the place or nowhere.  Therefore, the public need to know quickly whether a site is going to send data through to the Gateway or not.  That doesn't mean that the public's primary motivation for using an online recording system is to submit data to the Gateway (although it could be), but does seem sensible to at least present people with that information.  Who knows, there may even be people out there that would even avoid a system because it sent their data to the Gateway.

I would like LERCs to have the opportunity, if they wished, to label themselves and their recording sites with a simple, standardised badge that showed that data they received could eventually reach the Gateway, assuming that the recorder was happy with that.

To achieve this, we don't need tiered badges.  We don't need to champion people, groups or systems based on the openness of the data they are sharing.  However, to demand that there is no element of tiering seems a bit harsh on the NBNT.  After all, we know its vision is "Biological data collected and shared openly ..etc." so I would imagine that some element of championing of Open Data submission would be required within this system in order for it to comply with NBN aims and objectives.

Regards,

Tom Hunt - Association of Local Environmental Record Centres, National Coordinator

5

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

Firstly, it’s grand to have the opportunity to review the outline proposal prior to the workshop itself. Definitely an approach to welcome. Secondly, it looks like a very good thing to be conducting this workshop at the NFBR conference giving numerous NSS representatives who have lots of experience in collating and sharing datasets large and small the opportunity to comment.

-------------------------------------
The Questions 

Name: NBN Data Sharing Badge (Simplest option)
-----------------------------------------

Awarding
Badges should be awarded when a data sharing agreement has been made with the NBN Secretariat. Presumambly adoption of an approved online system/app would simplify that.

The resulting questions relate to how the actual sharing might be policed. What if a project has problems following through on its intentions? Or what if just 100 out of 100,000 records are shared? Would the badge be suspended? The important things are the commitment to share and encouraging that to happening. Volunteers who aren't able to see their own records are unlikely to be supportive or help attract others. Provided there is an effective online system in place or the NBN Secretariat is happy with the data sharing agreement (based on past experience) the badge should be awarded. Where funders are concerned an agreement or the necessary preparation should be a pre-requisite.

What about data which are shared to a LERC, National Scheme or Society or any public body and then mobilised onto the NBN Gateway? Covered by the above.
---------------------------------

Motivation
Will these badges motivate you to share your data with the NBN via the NBN Gateway?
1.    Yes
2.     No

Ideally, all data should (barring the usual issues) be shared with the NBN via the Gateway whether directly or indirectly.

I think it’s necessary to unpack this particular question a little. Firstly, lots of organisations have been sharing data (in some form) via the Gateway for many years. Others haven’t. What is the motivation for either group to suddenly adopt badges?
For me, it comes at the point of the individual recorder or local group choosing to give their time to a particular survey (or not) because they would be quickly aware that the information they supply would be passed on and be more likely to be useful (a local project contributing to the national picture). There is also incentive for funders to only support projects that commit to sharing data. This should then encourage those devising such projects to ‘badge up’ because they will be more likely to get funding and more volunteers. Local groups and national schemes will also be more likely to attract new contributors - if they can show that they are committed to sharing.  Some lack a website but will probably have a presence on the new Gateway (relevant Atlas) so their badge could be displayed there (Computer -show me all the NBN approved recording projects in my area.)

Promotion of badged recording schemes by the NBNT and others will give added incentive, particularly where there is a wish to attract more support for recording under-recorded species and encouraging those who have had involvement with their first simple citizen science project.

I expect that the knee-jerk response to the question as stated from the majority of committed recording organisations might well be “No, we’re already doing all that is possible without any badge”.

However, provided a simple system can be set up so that it is of minimal bother to add to what everyone is already doing AND the wider benefits of encouraging more sharing, more generally, I would expect many more to be in favour of this approach. (It’s a question of adopting the right system and of getting across those wider benefits AND how they’ll feed back to the particular badged project/organisation aas well as to UK recording as a whole. It's definitely worth learning from the mistakes of past useful ideas that failed to gain traction because they didn't take account of user needs and the approach taken here looks to be off to a good start).

For those who aren’t currently sharing, it would be interesting to understand the reasoning of those who remain in the 'No' camp. Is it the badge approach as they understand it or are there other reasons/obstacles which simply preclude sharing (currently)?
--------------------------------
Badge structure
The potential benefits of a simple badge system would seem to take the Partnership a significant way forwards. Complicating this would act as a deterrent taht ought to be avoided at all costs. (Thought could be given to revision in later years but there are better ways of achieving twiddly bits of uncertain merit). KISS, KISS KISS. This extends to the badges themselves.

------------------------------
Approaches  1 and 2:

1.    Which approach would be most suitable? Neither
Simplification should rule over complication. There are dangers in penalising various organsiations that do a sterling job within available resources but for various reasons aren’t able to share data as openly or as quickly as others. That would serve as a deterrent to badging.

The only possible split I would consider here would be direct sharing (e.g.via online systems/apps/consultants portal) and those submitted first ‘traditionally’  to some organisation. The main points being the need (potentially) for the online systems to adhere to agreed standards to be badged and for some way to ensure that e.g. beetle data collected online for a particular project will end up being shared with available to the county beetle recorder.

2.    Are there other options we could consider? Simple badge. Capture other information in metadata/flags.

3.    Do we need to reflect the age of the data by including an ‘up to date’ as a category?   What is ‘up to date`? No. This would seem to devalue efforts to digitise historic data (which because of its rarity is potentially  much more important). Encouraging data collection and sharing by letting the individual recorder know that their data will be passed along should be the sole goal.

4.    Do we need to show the level of data resolution in the badge or is this over complicating the scheme?  Unhelpful over-complication that should be avoided if you wish to maximise take-up..
--------------------------
Data licenses
1.    I agree with the stated approach; data sharing is not the same as providing access to shared data.

------------------------------

Addenda
The possibility of feedback on how datasets to which a recorder/citizen scientist has contributed have actually been used  would seem to be an incentive to volunteers to spend time making records or supporting particular projects in future. This would then provide motivation for collators to share data (promptly). And that would also provide feed back to funders about how and where their support is having an impact, which should then encourage greater support, data collection and sharing.

Has a badge approach been trialled/adopted elsewhere?

6

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

All, thanks for your comments and thoughts so far.  Some really useful points have been raised in the thread below and I think it is timely to recap what we have discussed to keep the conversation moving.

Why?
- we need to be clear as to the reasons why a badge is needed
- this is primarily to reduce confusion and ambiguity amongst recorders who do not know if a given record submission route will result in a publically available record on the NBN Gateway or not
- Badge needs to give clear and simple message that 'I share data with the NBN'/ 'This scheme puts its data onto the NBN Gateway'

Design
- must be immediately recognisable
- Must be simple
- Should be one colour
- Could borrow from the typical sharing icons we use on mobile device
- Must not make the badge design such that it becomes out of date if being used in printed literature and therefore having an 'up to date' category should be avoided
-It has been suggested that for online sites the badge icon could link to metadata or pop up with further information thought this will not be possible for printed literature and may be overcomplicating the scheme

Tiering
- generally people are not in favour of a complicated tiering/star system
- this could be de-motivational, especially for small schemes and organisations who have limited resources
- At most we should have two tiers.  Two suggested tiers are:
1) "NBN public sharing" and an "NBN restricted sharing" badge.
2) Direct sharing (e.g.via online systems/apps/consultants portal) and those submitted first ‘traditionally’  to some organisation.

Data licenses
- Data provision should not be associated with data license

iRecord
- how do we badge data submissions and sharing with iRecord?
- NBN dataflows are dependant on how each organisation wished to manage their data.  A good number of recording schemes prefer to download data from iRecord, incorporate this into their own existing (larger) dataset and upload the combined dataset to the NBN. 
- It has been suggested that the badges need therefore to be applied to the organisation or recording scheme, not to the iRecord records.

Name
- Alternative name suggestion of "NBN Dataset Provider Badge"

Awarding
-Two suggestions have been proposed so far
1) when dataset is uploaded to the NBN
2) when a data sharing agreement has been made with the NBN Secretariat.

Motivation
- For the majority of commited recording organsiations it is liekly that this will not be a motivation as they are already doing all that is possible without a badge.
- However we do need to understand the reasons why others don't share their data

Additional ideas beyond these badges
-Could we develop a searchable "verification organisation" page on iRecord so you can see that, for example, records of bees are verified by BWARS?



Don't forget that the two documents for your consideration can be found on the Online Recording Working Group webpage on the NBN Website here:
http://nbn.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/n … ng-online/

7

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

Any useful experience or consultation that could be taken from this: http://www.gbif.org/newsroom/news/GBIF-digital-badges
Do we need to keep cross platform compatibility in mind?

LERC Officer
Merseyside BioBank - Local Environmental Records Centre for North Merseyside
www.MerseysideBioBank.org.uk

8 (edited by Matt Smith 22-04-2016 15:59:51)

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

I don't think "cross platform compatability" is anything that merits any concern.  The discussion here relates to a simple .jpeg badge given to data providers or recording schemes that send data up to the NBN.

An interesting discussion so far, but I still don't see a badge as a motivational factor for volunteer recorders.  Volunteers record what they want out out personal interest, I can't really see people flicking through a choice of recording projects suddenly going - "ohh - this one has a NBN badge, lets do that one".  Having said that, knowledge of the existence of an "NBN Data Provider" badge may prompt recorders to ask project organisers what will happen to the data if one is not evident - I would see this as being more of a question for small local schemes or projects rather than the larger schemes and societies, most of whom provide NBN data already.
.

9

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

The discussions have covered the setting up of websites, but not their end-of-life. Often the project ends but the website lives on with nobody servicing it.

This is particularly the case with single-species distribution project websites. Somebody had a grant to look at a particular species - often an invasive. Funding finishes and they moved on, but the website is still wasting people's time entering records that will never be looked at (or perhaps they will - how can you tell?).

I'd like to see a link to a JPEG managed by NBN. The link would be specific to each data partner and the resulting JPEG would be managed by NBN (probably automatically by the database) to show whether the project was still live.

10 (edited by Malcolm Storey 28-04-2016 10:10:32)

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

I agree with Matt that this is more for local schemes and small projects. Actually the worst people for not sharing data are the recording schemes! (Tachinidae being a notable exception of course).

I once asked a recording scheme organiser why he wasn't putting his data on NBN and was told "the data on NBN are rubbish". So swamp the bad data with a mass of good data!

I guess there's also the concern that if they put it all online they're left with nothing to publish.

It'd be good to see an NBN badge against each recording scheme on the BRC recording schemes webpage. (It won't let me put links in so you'll have to Google for it!)

11

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

Thanks for all the responses so far, Tom Hunt and myself will be working through these in detail to create a summary to date.

Just a reminder that, with the NFBR conference and workshop next week, it would be great to get any further thoughts you may have at this stage so that the discussions can start on a well informed basis.

After the workshop there will be scope to comment on an updated proposal further

Thanks for your time so far everyone!

Rachel

12

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

Sorry - late thought. Data sharing requires that the data collator gives every new record a unique GUID, and to pass on the originator's GUID if it wasn't an original record and they're just passing it on. (The whole point of GUID's is that they resolve duplication. Adding GUID's at the central repository doesn't work as an individual record may reach it by several routes.) NBN's role should be to award each originator of records with his own prefix so the generated GUID's remain unique across the system.

13

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

Hi Malcom,

Just wanted to voice my support for this idea. It's perhaps not directly a badge issue and could be discussed in the working groups? My personal take on this would be that the NBN set an accepted data sharing standard whereby any new technologies that capture biological records must include the facility to generate a GUID for that record. Any record holding system should also have the facility to store and show and display that attribute. It's about establishing standard practice something the secretariat is in a position to lead on and the NBN as a whole can implement.

GUID's are simple enough to generate and it could all be done 'behind the scenes' without needing to interfere with the recording process.

There would of course still be issues (a record entered to multiple systems or sent to several places) but that will increasingly be tackled by more connected and collaborative recording systems and organisations (i wonder how we could flag that collaboration up to users..).

LERC Officer
Merseyside BioBank - Local Environmental Records Centre for North Merseyside
www.MerseysideBioBank.org.uk

14 (edited by BDeed 23-05-2016 10:33:31)

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

GUID -> good collection of code examples: http://guid.us/GUID/

SQL - http://guid.us/GUID/SQL
.NET - http://guid.us/GUID/ASP_Net
Javascript - http://guid.us/GUID/JavaScript

LERC Officer
Merseyside BioBank - Local Environmental Records Centre for North Merseyside
www.MerseysideBioBank.org.uk

15 (edited by Matt Smith 25-05-2016 09:15:17)

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

Lets remember we are supposedley coming at this from the "new recorder" level, a lot of the discussion in this area seems to revolve around the premise that a "new to biological recording " user will choose where to submit their data based on whether on not there is a badge.  I'm not sure that flagging up a system and giving it a badge because it generates a GUID is worthwhile because if you badge the application rather than the process then a) every bit of recording software or each individual recorder should get a badge and b)  just because it has a badge does not mean the data goes anywhere.

If implemented, these badges should indicate those who put the data on the NBN, not that there is a "potential" to do that.

16 (edited by Malcolm Storey 25-05-2016 10:08:48)

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

There's the counter argument. It's really going to be the experienced recorders who know to look for our badge (and who submit most of the more varied records). "Sharing" is a two-way process. The one way equivalent is "forwarding" or "donation", but we're using the word "sharing".

If I see a badge on a survey I know that I don't need to submit to this cos they'll get my data direct from NBN when I submit via the Consultants Portal. (One day!). In fact without a proper shared GUID system I actually should NOT submit to this site to reduce data duplication.

Another aspect is that the IP licence (stated or implied) under which the data are collected must allow them to forward the data to NBN. Putting the badge on the website makes it clear this is going to happen, but ideally they also need a statement or CC licence (but not both!) describing what they want to be able do with the data. This can be part of our best practice guide (which I think was suggested at the meeting). This still leaves the question of legacy records when an established survey adopts the NBN data-sharing badge.

17

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

We currently have a problem with legacy data licencing in mycology. We've been running a database for a long time (?20 years) with a comparatively restrictive licence. We'd like to submit the data to GBIF but technically our licence is too restrictive. We can circulate current members but obviously some are no longer with us. Part of me feels I'm making too much of this and we should just quietly change the licence, but if the data were ever used in a planning enquiry I could see embarrassment if we were challenged. My current plan is to raise it at the forthcoming group leaders meeting and take a vote. I know it can't really be decided democratically, but I feel this is a reasonable compromise.

Anyway, the reason I went into this is that the data sharing badge presents an opportunity to encourage people to open their licences up a bit. People need to think about the sort of uses their licence is designed to prevent. The usual sticking point is "non-commercial": obviously nobody's going to make a million from your records. If the records are freely available they aren't worth anything to sell, tho people may sell services based on them. Generally I'd prefer my records to be considered in any services somebody might sell (eg planning, management plans). The only proviso being that sensitive species need blurred locations. (I leave others to define "sensitive"! especially with the growing interest in foraging)

18

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

Presumably there's no problem with the Data Protection Act? We're asking people to create a database where they hold information about named people -  we may see the data as purely biological, but it includes where they were on a particular day. Surely this falls within the DPA?

19

Re: NBN Data Sharing Badges - a proposal

Although I wasn't in this workshop at the NFBR conference, it was interesting to hear the summary and subsequent discussion, thanks to both Rachel and Tom.

One thing really stuck in my mind in the summary was that badges should only be for direct data providers. In the discussion document it talks about the need to badge for HLF projects for example, but often the records from these (perhaps lead by a local authority or wildlife trust) will go on to the Gateway via an LERC (as with North Pennines Wildwatch and Coldblooded and Spineless HLF projects for example, which CBDC uploads for Cumbria (in a separate Gateway dataset) and ERIC NE for Northumberland and Durham (not in a separate Gateway dataset as their datasets are organised differently). Similar situations must occur with national projects and national schemes. Surely in cases where clear data flow to the Gateway is established through an NBN data provider, the project or organisation should be able to be badged, even though it will mean a bit of communication.

-----------------
Teresa Frost | Wetland Bird Survey National Organiser | BTO