REGULATIONS OF THE WORL BIODIVERSITY INFORMATION NETWORK
1.1 The World Biodiversity Information Network
1.2 Principal functions of REMIB
1.3 Operation of REMIB
1.5 Person in charge of the node
1.6 Curators of databases
1.7 REMIB databases
1.8 Node administrators
1.9 Member researchers
CHAPTER 2. GOVERNANCE OF REMIB
2.1 General structure of REMIB
2.2 Board of Directors
2.3 Academic Committee
2.4 Administrative Committee
CHAPTER 3. RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF PARTICIPANTS
3.2 Central node
3.3 Incorporation of nodes and databases
3.4 Removal of nodes and databases
3.5 Member researchers of REMIB
CHAPTER 4. ACCESS TO INFORMATION
4.1 Public nature of the data
4.2 Intellectual property of the data
4.3 Types of access to the data
CHAPTER 5.MODIFICATION OF THE REGULATIONS OF REMIB
CHAPTER 6. TRANSITORY
1. Composition of the Board of
Directors of REMIB
2. Modification of the operation regulations of REMIB
3. Composition of the General Administration of the Central node of REMIB
4. Renewal of members of the Board of
Directors and Academic Committee
REGULATIONS OF THE WORLD
BIODIVERSITY INFORMATION NETWORK
The biodiversity crisis, which is observed in the loss of
habitats, species and genetic variability of living forms forces to define
new policies for nature conservation in a short term, which should be
sustained on a scientific knowledge of the principal biotic attributes of
Mexico’s natural ecosystems.
It has become necessary to establish the bases for an expedite communication system in the area of biodiversity research which will permit both optimum development of basic research and the development of methods and techniques that contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
It has become necessary to regulate queries of curatorial information of biological collections and databases on biodiversity, upon ethical rules determined by the scientific community.
The institutions indicated at the bottom subscribe this:
For the operation of the World Biodiversity Information Network, assuming as its fundamental responsibility the ownership of rights of use of data on biotic information produced by its associated researchers, in agreement with the items contained in this document.
CHAPTER 1. DEFINITIONS
1.1 The World Biodiversity Information
hereinafter referred to as REMIB, is a computerized system of biotic information (i.e. it includes curatorial, taxonomic, ecological, cartographic, bibliographic, ethnobiological and use data and catalogues on natural resources and other topics) based on a decentralized inter-institutional academic organization formed by research and higher education institutions, both public and private, that harbor scientific biological collections and information banks on scientific collections and literature.
1.2 The principal functions of REMIB are: (i) to promote the exchange of biotic information through a national network of data bases, and analyze and determine joint policies on intellectual property and quality control and forms for distribution of the data, (ii) to increase and improve the accessibility and quality of this information, maintaining it updated and (iii) to offer basic knowledge of biodiversity to the general public, under the standards and procedures established herein.
1.3 REMIB operates with institutions that own databases on biodiversity and natural resources of Mexico. These constitute the nodes, and their researchers or experts are responsible for the information.
1.4 Nodes are institutions where scientific biological collections or other sources of original data on biodiversity are physically located, and well as computer work stations where data are exchanged through REMIB. The node of the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) will maintain only databases provided by experts. Individuals with databases or collections that have a biological interest may include their information through the institutional nodes.
1.5 The person in charge of the node is the formal representative of the institution where the node is located. He acts as the liaison of the institution with REMIB and is in charge of linking the institution with the Steering committee and the Academic Committee with the institution and the curators. The person in charge of the node is nominated by the institution.
1.6 Curators of databases are the persons in charge of handling the databases of scientific biological collections or others related to biodiversity components. The curator of the database must be in contact, in such case, with the
collection curator (traditional curator), whose information is incorporated in REMIB. Nevertheless, there may be cases where both curators are the same person. The curator of the database participates as responsible for one or more databases associated with a collection or an institution that maintains databases on biodiversity. The characteristics or profile, and the functions of a curator of a database are specified in point 3.1.4.
1.7 REMIB database is a set of databases incorporated in REMIB through a node and under the responsibility of a curator of a database, which bear a specific structure, a development plan and specific maintenance.
1.8 Node administrators are responsible for the web page design, the operation and maintenance of the nodes and all the technical aspects (databases, communication systems, among others). Other functions are specified in point 3.1.5.
1.9 Member researchers of REMIB are those researchers in the area of biology who are associated with a node, and who assume the obligations and rights that regulate the use of the network, which are described in chapter four.
CHAPTER 2. GOVERNANCE OF REMIB
2.1. General composition of REMIB. REMIB is coordinated by a Board of Directors that directs and monitors the activities of the two executive committees: The Academic Committee and The Administrative Committee.
2.2. Board of Directors
2.2.1. Functions. The functions of the Board of Directors of REMIB are:
a. To plan and coordinate activities of REMIB by developing programs and a general work agenda.
b. To profit economic support for the maintenance of REMIB.
c. To approve the designation of new members of the Academic Committee.
d. To make decisions on the basis of the recommendations of the executive committees.
To prepare guidelines on regulations and approve work plans generated by the Academic and Administrative Committees.
2.2.2. Composition. The Board of Directors is formed by a Director, who is the Executive Secretary of CONABIO; a General Coordinator represented by the Technical Director of Analysis and Priorities of CONABIO and five members. Additional support is given by a Secretary, defined within the CONABIO. The functions of the Secretary are to call meetings and take notes at meetings, follow up on resolutions and act as a liaison between the Board of Directors and the committees and the nodes.
2.2.3. Designation of members. The designation of the members of the Board of Directos will be made with the advising or recommendation of members of the previous Board of Directors. The Secretary will be designated at the proposal of the General Coordinator with the endorsement of the other members of the Committee. To be a member of the Board of Directos, the following requirements are needed:
a. To be a Mexican researcher or a foreign researcher residing in Mexico, whose work has been dedicated to the study of biodiversity, with a broad academic background.
b. To have experience in the administration of academic institutions or national or international scientific societies.
The Board of Directors may also be advised by specialists who do not reside in Mexico.
2.2.4. Period. After the first three years of operation (November, 1999), one half of the elected members of the Board of Directors will be replaced.
2.3 The Academic Committee
2.3.1. Functions. The functions of the Academic Committee are:
a. To establish the priorities and define the work plan of REMIB.
b. To promote the development of the nodes or databases existing in the nodes, on the basis of established priorities and detected deficiencies.
c. To define policies for using and handling databases, particularly those related to intellectual property rights.
d. To define quality control policies and procedures for the data.
e. To provide advice to the nodal institutions concerning the data that should or should not be made public.
f. To define the academic and/or professional profiles of the people who will form a part of the various operational levels of REMIB.
2.3.2. Composition. The Academic Committee will be presided by the General Coordinator of the Board of Directors and formed by up to 15 researchers from various institutions or agencies, both national and international, who satisfy the following requirements:
a. They must be associated with an institution recognized as a node.
b. They must have experience in the development of databases on biodiversity.
2.3.3. Period. The members of the Academic Committee may continue as members for up to six consecutive years. Half of the members will be renewed every three years, and so on successively.
2.3.4. Designation of the members. The procedure for designating the members will follow the guidelines set forth below:
a. The Board of Directors, through its General Coordinator, will issue a call inviting interested researchers to apply as candidates for the Academic Committee.
b. To registrate candidates, an acceptance letter of the candidate and a summary of his/her curriculum vitae (consisting of one page) should be sent to the Academic Committee, according to the period and the procedures indicated in the call.
c. By the end of the process, the Academic Committee will communicate to each nodal institution, through a bulletin, the academic curriculum vitae and proposals of each one of the candidates. A period will be stipulated for each node to deliver either directly through its representative, by certified mail or via the network, its vote for seven of the candidates included in the cited bulletin.
d. The Academic Committee will resolve upon the designation of new members on the basis of a tally of the votes. If a tie occurs, the Board of Directors will resolve upon the designation, taking as a basis the institutional and regional representation and the fields of knowledge covered by REMIB.
e. Members of the Academic Committee may be re-elected only once.
2.4 The Administrative Committee
2.4.1. Functions. The functions of the Administrative Committee are:
a. To administer the financial funds of REMIB.
b. To monitor the data updating and the administrative functioning of the nodes.
2.4.2. Composition. The Administrative Committee will be represented by CONABIO, which will comply with the requirements relative to administrative experience and will be related to the study of biodiversity.
CHAPTER 3. RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF THE PARTICIPANTS
3.1. The nodes. Nodes are institutions that maintain or generate data on biodiversity and that agree to make them available to the general public, based on a a common policy related to intellectual property rights and quality control standards.
3.1.1. Functions. The following are functions of the nodes:
a. To provide access to the information required by users of REMIB, according to the regulations of REMIB and of the institutional node, under the agreement that each person in charge of a database will decide what is placed in the network.
b. The minimum amount of information which each database should make available to the public is information related to nomenclature, collection and at least 75% of the records geo-referenced.
c. To update continously the information contained in their databases.
d. Obtain economic support to maintain and update the databases.
3.1.2. Human resources. The minimum human resource requirements are:
a. Curator of the database (see paragraph 3.1.4).
b. Node administrator, whose function is to maintain the entire computer system operating and in good condition, in addition to support users.
In order for a node to operate as such, it must have a minimum infrastructure in physical resources, evaluated by the Academic Committee. he institution must make a commitment to guarantee the continuous maintenance of the databases that are included in the node.
126.96.36.199. Physical infrastructure. he minimum hardware and software requirements will be specified by the central node at the proper time.
Hardware: Preferably good equipment will be selected to guarantee operations over at least the medium term.
Software: The minimum amount of software required to allow a node to operate as such will be specified in due course by the central node.
3.1.4. Collections. The Academic Committee will analyze the incorporation of a node according with the type of data, coverage, quality and amount of the data as well as the speed of the database.
The numerical criteria combined with others that are used to recognize the quality and academic activity of personnel involved will also provide a more trustworthy idea of a node candidate; therefore, the following will also be taken into account:
Academic quality of personnel involved.
Academic quality of the database (reliability level of the information).
Academic quality of the institution.
Thematic importance of the database in terms of criteria proposed by the Academic Committee.
Interest of the institution in actively and seriously participating in REMIB.
Capacity of the institution and its members to obtain funds required to maintain and update the databases.
To have current projects on research in biodiversity (to produce information on taxonomic, ecological or use of natural resources; complement and depuration of databases, update catalogues).
3.1.5. Curator of the database. The functions and characteristics of a curator of a data base are:
Characteristics of the curator of the database:
a. A person who is actively working in research related to the preparation and use of data bases.
b. A person who is interested in updating and properly disseminate information under his control.
c. A person directly linked to specialist of a taxonomic group or of an area of knowledge on biodiversity, whose database, product of his research work, forms part of REMIB.
Functions of the curator of databases:
1. To maintain and update the data base which is under his care and notify it to the central node, at least once a year. He will be assisted in this task by the Administrator of the node.
2. To work directly with the node Administrator, so that his database is properly conformed and follows the guidelines indicated by REMIB.
3. To determine, together with the curator of the collection, the conditions and temporary restrictions under which the data will be used.
In order to admit a person as a curator of a database of REMIB, the following must be satisfied:
a. To include in REMIB the databases under his control or those which are part of his own research work or of a data collection that represents a significant contribution to knowledge of the country’s biodiversity.
b. Be nominated by his institution, based on his curricular background and capacity to work with the curator of the scientific collection and increase, depurate and update the lots of taxonomic, biogeographical, ecological and/or use data.
Curators of databases must be researchers, professors or technically qualified persons who work in museums, herbarium or research centers, with the institutional commitment of maintaining and updating them. In principle, curators of databases may be Mexican or foreigners.
3.1.6. Node administrator
Functions: The following are functions of the node administrator:
1. To supervise and be responsible of the proper functioning of the hardware/software on which the databases of the node operate.
2. To implement adequately structural and operational changes requested by the curator of the collection and of the database to allow the best functioning of the database. In addition, he will generate systems or mechanisms to allow nomenclatural changes or to modify geographic specifications, among others. These could be made by national or international specialists, who consult and update the information of the collections.
3. To provide the central node with information on activities performed with respect to the databases under his control.
3.2. The central node. The headquarters of the central node is CONABIO and it is the only one of all the nodes that does not comply with the condition of having a scientific biological collection or to generate autonomously data. Nevertheless, its function is to coordinate all other tasks that must be executed simultaneously or distributedly.
3.2.1. Functions. The following are functions of the central node:
a. To establish the technical standards for setting up and using the network (hardware and software).
b. To develop the software required to allow the network to function.
c. To provide direct assistance to the Administrators of the nodes in technical aspects of hardware, software, communications and development of individual systems.
d. To develop and execute standards and procedures for the functioning of REMIB.
e. To monitor and follow up the technical functioning of REMIB.
f. To maintain supports for the various nodes that are updated from time to time.
g. To determine, with the Academic Committee, the standards relative to structure and quality of the databases.
h. To coordinate, together with the nodes, the preparation and structure of the databases.
i. To supervise the maintenance of standards and norms related to databases in the nodes.
j. To Assist curators and researchers associated with the nodes to make best use of their information.
k. To function as a virtual node, by including information from small institutions that cannot conform a permanent node due to their physical and human infrastructure, but that wish to incorporate their databases in REMIB and to operate as a terminal of a central node.
l. To establish a continuous evaluation process of applications of candidates for nodes, taking into account:
i. The academic characteristics and profiles of the institutions, researchers and potential curators of data bases.
ii. Type of information, quality, coverage and extension of the information.
Current state and functionality of the database.
Updating standards and information exchange.
Financial support for the maintenance of the databases.
3.2.2. Infrastructure. The central node must have the minimum physical and human infrastructure required to perform its functions.
188.8.131.52. Human resources. The following are required:
a. Two or three instructors adequately trained to give courses to node administrators.
b. One or two general administrators of REMIB, whose functions will be:
To assist all node administrators.
To attend to technical problems (hardware and software) that arise in the nodes.
To report to the curators and to the Administrative Committee, regarding the numbers of queries and citations done to each database.
To oversee permanently the correct operation of the network (in its technical aspects).
To install service and the respective software in the nodes.
3.2.3. Data bases of the central node. The administrator, with suggestions from the Board of Directors and Academic Committee will establish rules for the incorporation and elimination of data in the database.
3.2.4. Supports. The database of the central node must be copy, for purposes of technical support, at any time if there is a new lot of freely accessible data to be incorporated. Any of the nodes may copy all or part of the updated database; however, every time that copies are obtained or queries are made of the copies, the respective node must be informed.
3.3. Incorporation of nodes and databases. CONABIO will submit to the consideration of the Board of Directors and the Academic Committee requests for incorporation of candidate institutions to function as new nodes of REMIB, on the basis of the following academic and infrastructure requirements. Candidate institutions are required to present a project for incorporation setting forth in detail their physical and human infrastructure to demonstrate that they satisfy the requirements for incorporation, and detect the requirements for incorporation as a node.
3.3.1. Academic requirements. New nodes will be institutions where:
a. Data on Mexico’s biodiversity are maintained or produced, and whose databases satisfy the requirements set forth in the academic profiles defined by the Academic Committee (see point 3.1.4).
b. A candidate institution must engage in taxonomic research or in an area of knowledge of biodiversity, endorsed by a registry of current projects with scientific support funds, whether national or foreign, or have full-time research personnel recognized both for their work and academically. researchers.
The Academic Committee will be in charge of verifying the level of growth and academic consolidation of institutions engaged in research, to provide it with a permanent frame of reference.
c. They must conform to policies on intellectual property and quality control determined by the Board of Directors and the Academic Committee.
3.3.2. Technical requirements. The basic infrastructure which an institution must have in order to be a node of the REMIB will be analyzed by the central node, considering the aspects indicated in point 3.1.2. This includes trained personnel in handling computer technology used by the network, as well as personnel in charge of assisting in the implementation of database systems, with which they participate in REMIB. The technical standards of the computer equipment and personnel will be available to applicants who wish to propose a project for its incorporation to the network.
A node institution must have access to internet as well as the software of the web server.
3.3.3. Incorporation of databases. CONABIO is in charge of receiving and approving applications for the inclusion of databases proposed by the nodes. Applications must contain a description of the content, responsible curator, development plan and access restrictions.
Each database will contain its respective metadata according to the standard proposed by CONABIO (in process of development), and which is based on the "NBII Content Standard for National Biological Information Infrastructure Metadata" (United States Geological Survey, 1995). Metadata contains basic information regarding the set of data that compose the base and refers to the content, quality and identification of the data.
3.4. Removal of nodes and data bases. A node is removed from the network by the Board of Directors when:
a. The node institution decides so and requests it to the Board of Directors, setting forth the reasons.
b. It does not comply with the functions indicated in point 3.1.1., mainly by not maintaining the information contained in its databases updated, not giving access to the data to other users and not providing periodic reports to the central node of activities related to the node.
3.5 Member-researchers of REMIB. The node administrator is in charge of providing the access codes, depending on the type of user. The curator of the data base will have an exclusive code which allows him to add to or modify registries.
Information compiled in a database is freely accessible via INTERNET. In the case of unpublished information and species with a certain protection category, the curator and the node institution will decide whether or not to restrict its public access. However, both the Board of Directors and the Executive Committees are required to disseminate information
About REMIB and to invite curators and researchers to make available to the public the greatest quantity of information possible.
CHAPTER 4. ACCESS TO THE INFORMATION
4.1 Public nature of the data. The information which the nodes decide to contribute to REMIB will be considered as public and may be used at no cost, provided that it is consulted for basic and applied research of biological organisms, the development of educational materials or social research.
4.2 Intellectual property of the information.
Researchers, collections and institutions affiliated as Members of REMIB will assume the following obligations:
Access to data: REMIB will be an open-access facility. Both members ascribed to REMIB and users in general will have equal access to the data in databases affiliated with or developed by REMIB, through an access code granted by CONABIO.
Intellectual property rights to biodiversity databases: REMIB will make efforts to strengthen the free distribution of data on biodiversity, particularly:
Intellectual property rights of databases developed by other organizations that later will become affiliated to REMIB will be respected.
Efforts will be made to place in the public domain any data commissioned, created or developed directly by REMIB; and
Any condition established by the provider data will be respected, assuming that it complies with the minimum information established by the databases of REMIB.
- Attributes: The source of the data should be acknowledged and such attribution be maintained in any subsequent use of the data.
- Management of data bases: The data provider has the responsibility for handling and updating the data in databases affiliated with REMIB.
- Access to restricted data: Both the owners of databases and CONABIO are entitled to block access to certain sensitive data, such as exact locality data for rare or endangered species.
- Validation of the data: Neither REMIB nor the curator of the database have any responsibility for the accuracy and/or reliability of the data or of the uses that the data might be put.
- Access to data on biological resources: REMIB will ensure, within reasonable practical bounds, that access to collections of data on biological resources is consistent with national and international laws, and that any relevant requirements for prior informed consent were met.
- Intellectual property rights on software developed by REMIB:
The General Coordinator, on behalf of REMIB, may claim intellectual property rights on any software tool developed by REMIB.
- Transfer of technology: Subject to any relevant intellectual property rights, REMIB will seek to promote transfer of technology in data processing to research institutions in developing countries, particularly in connection with training and skill development programs.
4.3 Types of access to data. REMIB data will be classified in two types: free queries and restricted access.
4.3.1 Free access data. Databases of nodes will contain information as highly detailed as possible, of a geographic, taxonomic, ecological or use type, which are compatible with the internal policies of the node. In addition, each piece of information will contain the institutional communication medium, so that the interested party can contact the researcher responsible for the indicated node. The information which custodians introduce into REMIB will be considered as available to the public and, in general, to all the members of REMIB.
4.3.2 Restricted access data. Custodians may decide not to release part of the information on which they are working, or they may impose conditions for its public availability, provided that they comply with the minimum information requirements established for REMIB databases. When the information included in the network is not released, there will be a maximum period of five years to make it available to the public, except in the following cases:
When the release of the information endangers the existence of populations of endangered species.
When the custodian is analyzing the information prior to its publication, in which case a reasonable period for its release will be determined.
When the custodian has obtained information from third sources who imposed restrictions on its use. In this case, the Board of Directors, as the maximum authority of REMIB, will negotiate with the original sources of the data that imposed conditions on the release of this information.
4.3.3 Access to international networks. REMIB acts as the representative of Mexico in initiatives to unite information networks on biodiversity internationally, such as the North America Biodiversity Information Network (NABIN), The Interamerican Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). Its participation in these entities occurs in the terms of these Regulations.
4.4 Queries. REMIB is a port within the web page of
CONABIO. To make a query, users shall have accepted the following:
a. The user querying information on REMIB is obliged to notify those projects for whom they require information, and the form of academic acknowledgement is required in relation to the intellectual ownership of the collectors, determinators or institutions that have generated the information.
b. Each user consulting the database is obliged to mention in their acknowledgements and bibliographic citations the original source of the data. i.e., they must cite REMIB, the nodes consulted, as well as the suppliers of the data, and this acknowledgement must also be given in any subsequent use of the data.
c. Neither REMIB nor the curator of the database takes responsability for the accuracy and/or reliability of the data or of the uses that the data might be put.
d. The user has the responsability that the information supplied will not be used to the detriment of national flora and fauna conservation (i.e., species trade) or in processes that irreversibly alter the ecological equilibrium (i.e., indiscriminate extraction or the introduction of alien species).
e. The user must inform the REMIB if the data extracted is going to be used for commercial gain or profit.
f. The central node will report to each node from time to time the number of queries and the destiny of the queries made of its set of data.
g. If the central node or any other node of REMIB produces materials for a user (i.e., information prepared as summaries, synthesis of data, graphics, statistics, among others), the node should:
Acknowledge through citations the original source of all data used.
Acknowledge the curator of the source of data used and inform him about the queries made to his data.
h. Data cannot be redistributed.
NOTE: National Authorities will be informed about anyone who does not respect the conditions mentioned above. Any unauthorized editing, reproduction, redistribution, addition or reduction of all or part of the information in REMIB or whatever other form of commercial exploitation for gain undertaken without the consent of those responsible for said data and REMIB is strictly forbidden.
CHAPTER 5. MODIFICATION OF REMIB REGULATIONS
These regulations are to be revised every three years, to implement the measures required by technology in the future or also academic, economic or social needs. Any modifications of the regulations will be discussed and analyzed at the meetings of the executive committees and will be proposed to the Board of Directors, which will approve the modifications deemed necessary for the best performance of the functions of REMIB.
CHAPTER 6. TRANSITORY
1. Composition of the Board of Directors of REMIB.
In this second stage, the Board of Directors of REMIB will be formed by the following members:
|Dr. Arturo Gómez-Pompa
|Dr. Gonzalo Halffter Salas
|| Dr. Jorge Soberón Mainero (Director)
|Dr. José Sarukhán Kermez
|| Dra. Patricia Koleff Osorio (General Coordinator)
|Dr. José Ramírez Pulido
|| M. en C. Verónica Aguilar Sierra
|Dr. Jorge Llorente Bousquets
2. Modification of the regulations of the operation of REMIB.In this second stage, the regulations are modified by the Commission designated at the July 23, 1999 meeting, to be later approved by the Academic Committee formed as follows, and by the Board of Directors (proposed in transitory 1):
|Dr.Salvador Contreras Balderas
||Ing. Eric Hagsater
|Dr. Jesús A. Cuevas Sánchez
||M.C. Livia León Paniagua
|Dra. Patricia Dávila Aranda
|| Dr. Rafael Lira Saade
|M.C. Adolfo Espejo Serna
|| Dr. Francisco Lorea Hernández
|Dr. Rafael Fernández Nava
|| Dr. Miguel Angel Morón Ríos
|Dr. Lorrain Giddings
||Dr. Adolfo Navarro Sigüenza
3. Composition in the General Administration of the Central Node of REMIB. In this second stage, the General Administrator of the Central Node is Ing. Raúl Jiménez Rosenberg.
4. Renewal of the members of the Board of Directors and Academic Committee. The Board of Directors and Academic Committee will first agree as to the substitution of their members. If no one submits a proposal to leave office, a mechanism will be proposed for renewing the Committee.