Why do we need standards?
The need for data standards in bio-logging is outlined in Campbell et al. (2016). Data collected by animal-borne electronic devices vary widely, in part because they are provided by a large and growing number of device manufacturers and collected for a wide range of purposes. The lack of standard variable names and definitions, file formats and data transfer protocols hinders our ability to document, archive and share data and increases the chance of errors in data management, interpretation and analysis. Although sensors differ in design and purpose, most scientifically relevant information can be described using a finite set of variables along with metadata about the sensor, animal, and deployment.
Results of the 2017 BLS6 Workshop
Bio-logging experts and manufacturers from around the world joined a workshop at the September 2017 6th International Bio-Logging Science Symposium: “A future for a common bio-logging language? Discussions about data standards and interoperability in the bio-logging world.” In preparation for this workshop, a 10-person organizing committee identified and invited ~130 domain experts and surveyed bio-logging manufacturers and biodiversity data experts to assess current workflows, knowledge, and preferences. Over 50 people attended the workshop, representing bio-logging equipment manufacturers, bio-logging database and biodiversity data initiatives, bio-logging scientists, analysis tool developers, conservation groups, and students. Attendees came from all over the world and represented diverse taxonomic and methodological expertise.
A summary of the workshop and results presented to the symposium by Francesca Cagnaggi