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the GiGLer

The newsletter of Greenspace Information of Greater London CIC

Big city, big picture

The GiGL partnership is greater than the sum of its parts. Mandy Rudd, GiGL Director, explains why the partnership model is so valuable to all involved.

The ‘collect once, use many times’ ethos is at the heart of GiGL’s work. The relationship between GiGL and GiGL’s partners isn’t simply that of contractor and contractee. GiGL is run as a business, albeit not-for-profit, with the full cost of collating, managing and making data available being shared amongst our partners and customers.

As well as sharing the costs, the partnership model allows partners to easily access the knowledge and expertise of GiGL’s steering group, recorders advisory group, and individual partners, and the expertise of our colleagues in other biodiversity records centres and in the National Biodiversity Network.

The time and financial costs of generating data and setting up systems to match those of the GiGL partnership would be prohibitive for an individual organisation. Working with us ensures best value.

A number of issues arise from this partnership model – those under the spotlight in this issue include providing credit where it’s due to London’s army of recorders, and recognising and protecting the rights of data owners.

The GiGL partnerships’ records have passed a significant milestone – having exceeded the one million species mark – a fantastic achievement and all thanks to our partners. It is vital that the efforts of our data providers are recognised and appropriately acknowledged by the end users of our services. With that in mind, you will find some brief guidance on press and publicity here.

We are often asked about the copyright issues surrounding data produced by partner organisations and individuals, as well as the restrictions on the use of their data. Oliver Grafton, the National Biodiversity Network’s Data Access Officer, has written us a really useful article about this topic on page 3, opposite. We have added some GiGL-specific examples to help explain the need for data access policies and data use licenses.

And finally, there have been some significant in-house developments. In partnership with London Wildlife Trust, GiGL are working on a year-long garden research project looking at land use in London’s gardens; more on this from Chloë Smith on page 6. On the system development side of our work, we have finished our database upgrade and are now running Recorder 6. Matt Davies, GiGL’s Data Manager, explains the opportunities this presents for new and improved services on page 7.

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