Now we need a similar project for the Social Sciences/Humanities!
The South African Biodiversity Information Facility (SABIF) is the South African Node of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) established by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in collaboration with the National Research Foundation, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research as well as members of the scientific community. DST is responsible for funding the activities of SABIF and SANBI is responsible for developing and implementing SABIF’s work programme.
The vision of SABIF is to contribute to South Africa’s (SA’s) sustainable development by facilitating access to biodiversity and related information on the internet. Through the formation of SABIF, South Africa intends to create an enabling web-based platform for researchers in South Africa to share their information while at the same time having access to global biodiversity information. It is the understanding that this platform will create an opportunity for researchers to explore both new and existing areas for improved knowledge generation and end-user applications.
SABIF as a participant node of GBIF should contribute to GBIF’s overall objective to promote, co-ordinate, design and implement the compilation, linking, standardisation, digitisation and global dissemination of the world’s biodiversity data, within an appropriate framework that safeguards intellectual property rights and recognition of source data. A survey by the CSIR revealed that only about 50% of SA’s known species and related datasets/collections are digitised. There is a dire need to correct this situation especially with regard to collections of national strategic importance.
This 2012 SABIF Call for proposals addresses this need by providing funding for selected projects that will digitize and geo-reference primary biodiversity (specimen) and related data (e.g. nomenclatural, image and observational records).