Data sharing is exactly what it sounds like - making sure that all the data that is collected is available for everyone who could potentially make use of it! While it still is trouble to find the right outputs it is fairly easy to find the people working in similar fields who can make good use of collected data. And we promote this approach as well as live it! All the sightings we collect, including the ones submitted by our citizen scientists does get distributed among a scientific community of researchers, NGOs and Universities working on the invasive species issues in the Mediterranean Sea
Why share my/your Data
Why is perhaps one of the key questions: Shared data is one of the things that many institutes and researchers are very much against. Simply put: If you share your data before writing a publication about it (and this process can take years) it might get used by someone else and therefore will not be a brand new publication any more. We think that this approach doesn't make too much sense. All the data that is already collected around the world at this time might hold the key to valuable solutions already! Unfortunately nobody is willing to share it just yet because - well, the publications. So here is the bottom line: If we all just manage to work together and play in the same team (We all work towards a surviving environment at this point) we could actually get a lot further in our efforts! So… let's share our data!
What does this mean for you
In many ways nothing changes. The collections and work are still exactly the same. It does however mean that in preparation for the research project you propose you will need to do your homework, meaning: Get in touch with researchers who work on similar projects (which is a smart thing to do either way) and ask them to collaborate. In many cases they offer to share their data if you do the same. So a valuable network is already set up before the data collection starts. This way also the gathering can be streamlined with existing datasets already - yet another nice benefit of talking to other people in the field!
For any questions about the idea and the whole concept feel free to contact me directly via Mail or the contact site here.