Type
Guideline

Data Provider Toolkit

Summary

Learn how to submit data to Dandjoo.

Hierarchy
Part of Dandjoo

Who can submit data to Dandjoo?

BIO welcomes submissions from all organisations and individuals with expertise in biodiversity data collection.

We anticipate that the majority of our data providers will be:

  • State and Federal government agencies
  • Local governments
  • Private industry (e.g. resources and energy companies, environmental consultants, and developers)
  • Universities and other research organisations
  • Biodiversity collections managers (e.g. museums and herbaria)
  • Not-for-profit organisations involved in conservation work

If you are not in one of these categories but do have high-quality data to contribute, please contact us. Our curatorial staff will be happy to discuss your data and assess whether it will be suitable for ingestion. However, do note that we are unable to accept one-off, individual sightings from members of the public at this time - if you have citizen science data to share, consider submitting it to a community platform such as iNaturalist or eBird.

 

What types of data does Dandjoo accept?

BIO currently accepts species observation data, systematic survey data, and vegetation association data. For more information on these data types, see the ‘Preparing your data for submission’ section of this toolkit. Our initial focus is on medium-to-large datasets, but also welcome smaller data sets that are of high quality.

 

How do I register as a Data Submitter?

You must register for a Data Submitter account to provide data to Dandjoo. Registering allows BIO to tag future submissions from the same provider, and ensure your data custodianship is recognised. It also allows our curators to provide you with data quality feedback, and contact you with any questions about your submission.

To register for a Data Submitter account, please follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Contact Us page on the BIO website.
  2. Select “Account request” in the Topic dropdown.
  3. Fill out the following fields:
    • Name
    • Organisation
    • Job title
    • Email
    • Telephone 
  4.  Add a comment to let us know why you would like to register.
  5. Click ‘Send Message’ to submit your application.

Your request will be received by BIO and processed as quickly as possible. Our curatorial team will contact you if BIO has any further questions about your registration.

How do I log in?

Once BIO has approved your registration request, you will receive an email with your username (the email address provided in your application) and a temporary password. To log in, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your email account and check that you have received an email from us (BIO@dbca.wa.gov.au) confirming that your account has been created:
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Dandjoo Welcome Email
  1. Visit the Dandjoo homepage and click on ‘Login’ in the top left corner:
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Dandjoo Login
  1. You will then be forwarded to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions sign-in page.
  2. Choose the option “Passcode sent by email”:
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Dandjoo login choices
  1. Type in your email address and click ‘Submit’.
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dandjoo code
  1. Check your inbox for an email from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (noreply@dbca.wa.gov.au) with your session passcode.
  2. Copy and paste the session code into the verification dialog that has opened in your browser, then click ‘Verify Code’:
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Dandjoo enter code
  1. Once verified, you will be redirected to the Dandjoo home page. You can now access the Data Submission portal:
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Dandjoo user logged in

1. Prepare data

The data lifecycle begins with preparing your data for publishing by ensuring that it meets the technical requirements for being published on Dandjoo (e.g. using standard file formats, ensuring it fits within platform limits). You can read more about preparing your data below.

 

2. Prepare supporting material

Once data preparation is complete, the next key step is preparing supporting material to be published with your data to enable people to understand it. You will be asked what geographic coordinate system, map projection or datum your data uses during the submission process.

 

3. Upload and curate

With your key preparation steps completed, you can now log in and submit your data. If you run into difficulties submitting, our staff can assist with the process. We may also contact you during the curation process to ask how you would like us to treat any records with potential taxonomic, temporal, or spatial errors. 

 

4. Make it discoverable

When curation is complete, we’ll publish it for you on Dandjoo. Congratulations!

 

5. Ongoing maintenance

With your dataset now published and discoverable, you’re at the last key step in the data lifecycle - ensuring processes are in place for the ongoing maintenance of the data. For once-off datasets, we’ll perform routine maintenance of taxonomic names and conservation codes. If your data changes often, speak to us about establishing a data refresh process.

 

Dandjoo currently accepts data in .csv, .xlsx, .xlsm or .shp formats with file sizes of up to 500MB. If you have data to submit that does not meet these requirements, please contact BIO, and one of our technical staff will be in touch to discuss how best we can ingest your data.

Dandjoo does not require you to provide your data in a template. However, if you have data in a spreadsheet with multiple worksheets, note that Dandjoo will only read the first worksheet in your file. If you want to submit data from other worksheets, you can either:

  • aggregate your data on a single worksheet prior to submitting, if your column headers are consistent across all worksheets; or
  • save each worksheet as a separate document, and submit them individually.

Dandjoo ingests data in various ways, depending on how the data was collected. Currently, it accepts three data types; species occurrence data, systematic survey data, and vegetation association data.

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Dandjoo Data types
  • Species Occurrence Data: Information about where a species was observed. Your dataset will contain a list of records by species, with information about the date and place each was observed. Each record in the dataset may refer to one individual of the species, or may include a count to indicate how many of the species were observed. The dataset may be generated from a systematic survey of sites, but the data will be arranged by species name.
  • Systematic Survey Data: Information about observations of multiple species in a systematic survey. Your dataset will contain a list of sites, and include information about all the species observed in each plot. The data will be arranged by the site identifier or name
  • Vegetation Association Data: Information about vegetation associations. Your dataset will contain the polygons that define the boundaries of the vegetation associations.

 

Submitting species occurrence data

Submission requirements

Our submission tools include a quality assurance routine to validate the structure of species observation data files.

Please read the requirements below and check your file beforehand to ensure a quick and easy submission process.

  • .csv, .xlsx, and .xlsm files are arranged in rows and columns, with the top row containing headers.
  • The file contains an event date field.
  • The file contains either latitude/longitude fields or eastings/northings/zone fields.
  • The file contains a field or fields that identifies the organism (this should, at a minimum, provide genus and species; components of the organism’s scientific name may be in one field, or split across several fields).
  • .shp files are zipped and include a.shp, .shx, and a .dbf.
  • Column headers / field names are unique.
  • Column headers / field names cannot be just a number. For instance, a column header of ‘1’ will not be accepted, but ‘one’ or ‘_1_’ will be. 
  • For .xlsx and .xlsm files, all data is contained on the first worksheet (additional worksheets will not be processed).
  • Mandatory fields are populated for every record in the file, although it is acceptable to have blank cells in optional fields. 
  • Mandatory date and location fields contain an expected data type (Dandjoo recognises most common date formats and coordinate formats).
  • The file contains at least one record (files that are blank other than a column headers will not be processed).
  • The file does not contain special characters (files may only contain UTF-8 encoded characters).

 

If you attempt to upload a file that does not meet these requirements, you’ll receive a warning message.

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Data errors

 

If you have difficulty in submitting your data as a result of the submission requirements, please contact BIO for support, and to let us know how the submission process can be improved in the future.

 

Mapping your data to a standard

You can use our self-service tools to ‘map’ species occurrence data to a selection of standard Darwin Core fields. 

During submission, you will be asked to match headers of your submitted data to certain fields (for instance, ‘scientific name’ or ‘event date’). These fields are derived from an internationally-recognised standard for biodiversity data and help us manage your data in a way that is consistent with FAIR data principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable).

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data mapping

 

Some fields are mandatory - for example, we need to know the ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘where’ of an observation to display it meaningfully. However we also offer submitters the opportunity to map data against a variety of optional Darwin Core fields. Mapping optional fields greatly enhances the value of your data for other users - for example, if you map the ‘habitat’ field to one of your variables your data can be combined and analysed with other datasets that also contain the same field. We highly encourage submitters to map optional fields, as it will help others understand and interpret the data.

 

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Additional mapping

We believe that submitters are best placed to map their data, as they generally understand it best and are familiar with how it was collected. However, if you’re having difficulty mapping your data, don’t hesitate to ask us for help. BIO’s curatorial staff are familiar with Darwin Core standard and the way in which other datasets have been mapped, and can assist you with submission and mapping.

 

Submitting systematic survey data and vegetation association data

If you submit systematic survey or vegetation association data, you will skip the self-service mapping stage, but the submission process is otherwise the same. BIO is exploring options to provide a mapping service for these data types in future releases, in addition to enhancing the way in which they are displayed for data users.

 

When you submit your data you will receive a unique submission ID. We recommend that you record this ID so that it can be used as a reference if needed. 

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Submitted data

BIO will also preserve a copy of your original submission in long-term storage, attached to your submission number. This copy provides a record of the data as it was originally provided, and will be retained for archival purposes and to ensure that the provenance of records in Dandjoo is auditable. 

Your submission will then pass through to the curation stage. You can learn more about BIO’s curation processes on our Data curation page. If our curatorial team identifies records with apparent errors during curation BIO will contact you for your input - for instance, you may approve a change to a record (such as correction of an obvious spelling error) or may ask for the record to be archived.

After curation, your data will be published on Dandjoo and become available to the public (with the exception of threatened and priority species records, which will be restricted). You may contact BIO at any point to request records be corrected or archived in Dandjoo in the future, but they will otherwise remain visible to users. 

 

As part of the State-Commonwealth Digital Environment Assessment Program, mapped fields in data submitted to Dandjoo are also transmitted to the national Biodiversity Data Repository on publication. This is part of BIO’s broader commitment to make Australian biodiversity data more shareable, accessible, and openly available.

 

  • Publish responsibly: Take care to publish data safely. Be mindful of privacy, copyright, intellectual property, commercial-in-confidence, and security issues that may relate to your data. Clean fields to remove phone numbers and email addresses that you may not want to share. If you’re not sure about whether you should redact information or whether you’re allowed to submit data, don’t submit it - talk to us first!
  • Understand how submission works: Read our Preparing your data for submission section and make sure you’ve reviewed the submission requirements for an easy submission experience. 
  • Describe your data well: Provide meaningful metadata, and map as many optional fields as possible to enhance the usability of your data. If there’s anything that you’d like to highlight about your data, you can use the comments field during submission to tell us more.
  • Keep your data up to date: If you want to submit a dataset that’s routinely refreshed, contact us about setting up a refresh process.

Frequently asked questions

Why is my species missing from Dandjoo?

If you are unable to find any data about a particular species, it may be restricted if the species is a threatened or priority one, in line with the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

For more information, see How can I see data about threatened and other sensitive species?

Does Dandjoo accept data for taxa that can’t be identified to genus level?

At present, we’re only ingesting records that relate to organisms that have been identified to a genus level. However, we’re aware that this poses some limitations for invertebrate observations, and it’s something we’re keen to enhance in future releases.

How do I attribute data I’ve sourced from Dandjoo?

When citing information retrieved via Dandjoo, you should attribute it to the Rights Holder. The Rights Holder for each record is identified any data extracts downloaded from Dandjoo.

You should also reference Dandjoo as the source, citing DBCA as the publisher – for instance ‘Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions [current year] Dandjoo search accessed on the [date of search]’.

How is the data in Dandjoo licensed?

The data in Dandjoo is generally provided under a CC BY 4.0 licence, except where:

  • the record indicates it has been provided by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s Index of Biodiversity Surveys for Assessment (IBSA) program (which allows for bespoke licensing arrangements); or
  • the data relates to a threatened species or ecological community under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, where limitations to data sharing apply.

If you’re uncertain about the licensing conditions that apply, contact us and we’ll help you out.

What do I do if I have a question about a specific record or dataset?

We’ll be happy to help you out if you send us a message. Make a note of the Record ID or dataset name you’re asking about and we’ll look into it for you. If we can’t give you an answer right away, we’ll get in touch with the original data provider on your behalf.

How can I see data about threatened and other sensitive species?

Information relating to threatened species and ecological communities is not publicly available via BIO. BIO is trialling the delivery of this functionally for approved internal users, but at the current time threatened species information still needs to be requested via DBCA’s Species and Communities Branch.

BIO is also working with other States and Territories to develop a national best-practice approach to sharing threatened species data to the public with reduced geographic precision. When complete, this approach will be implemented in Dandjoo, safely allowing public users to view threatened species records.

Who can submit data to Dandjoo?

At launch, we’re prioritising datasets collected from industry surveys and by the research sector. We recognise the value of all data sources, including citizen science data, and as Dandjoo matures we’ll explore ways to ingest data from a wider variety of sources while allowing users more control over the types of data they want to see.

Do get in touch if you’re interested in providing data – we’re keen to talk to you.

Does Dandjoo contain data from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s Index of Biodiversity Surveys for Assessment (IBSA)?

Dandjoo has been pre-populated with data provided directly by the private sector - this data is considerably richer than that submitted for IBSA and covers a longer time period.

The BIO team is currently working on ingestion of the entire collection of historical IBSA datasets, and these will appear in Dandjoo as each is processed.

Is Dandjoo’s data the same data that DBCA used to provide on the NatureMap platform?

The datasets previously provided via NatureMap are now available in Dandjoo. (We’ve also updated some of these datasets where refreshed data is available, and will continue to work with data custodians to update them periodically.)

Dandjoo’s collection is considerably larger than that previously available in NatureMap, as it also includes new datasets from industry, researchers, and regulatory agencies.

Does Dandjoo contain both terrestrial and marine data?

Most records in Dandjoo relate to terrestrial species, since much of the data is generated by industry processes - for example surveys undertaken for regulatory approvals. However, marine data is not entirely absent - for example, many marine species are represented in records from the Western Australian Museum.

What kinds of data can I find in Dandjoo?

Dandjoo currently accepts three types of data:

Species occurrence data: This is data about where a species was observed. When these datasets are provided to BIO, they contain a list of records by species, with information about the date and place each was observed. (Each record in a dataset may refer to one individual of the species, or may include a count to indicate how many individuals were observed. 

Systematic survey data: This is data that relates to observations of multiple species in a systematic survey. When these datasets are provided to BIO, they generally contain a list of plots, and include information about all the species observed in each plot. In the leadup to the platform’s launch, we worked with data providers to restructure systematic survey data into species occurrence data where feasible. We appreciate that this approach results in the loss of rich site information - one of our priorities for the future is to enhance Dandjoo’s ability to ingest and visualise systematic survey data.

Vegetation association data: These datasets contain polygons that define the boundaries of vegetation associations. Currently we’re providing these as a simple overlay that can be viewed in the map interface. As with systematic survey data, we’re planning to enhance the way in which this data is presented in future releases.

Can I connect to Dandjoo via an API?

Yes, check out our API documentation for details, and do tell us about what you're working on - we’re keen to hear about how you’re using the platform, and how we can support your project.

I have an idea for a new feature – can you implement it in the next version of Dandjoo?

We want to make sure future development is informed by users, and are keen to have your input. You can also contact us to find out more about our forthcoming User Consultation Committee, and how your sector is represented.

How is Dandjoo different to other data sharing platforms?

For data providers, we’ve taken an approach that you shouldn’t need to use a template, provide a set number of fields, or - where possible - reformat date and location information data in your dataset to meet a prescribed format. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to submit data - if you’re providing species occurrence data, you can even use our self-service quality assurance tools to map columns in your dataset to those recognised by Dandjoo.

We’re also committed to maintaining the integrity of your data; if we have any questions about specific records in your dataset, we’ll let you know so you can decide whether you’d like us to make a correction or redact a record.

For data users our map-based interface is designed to be user-friendly and provide a familiar experience for those who have used other biodiversity data platforms. In addition, it is underpinned by a number of data quality innovations.

Data is reviewed by our team of curatorial staff prior to publication, and mapped to 33 key fields from the Darwin Core data standard. Dandjoo also retains all the original data fields submitted by the data provider, so we can extend those mappings in the future and even extend the platform to include additional standards.

The platform also contains a number of data sets that have never been released before, including data from the private sector, and the data undergoes routine curation to ensure that taxonomic name and conservation code information is kept up-to-date.

Does my business have to submit data to Dandjoo as part of a regulatory process?

There are no requirements to submit data directly to Dandjoo.

We’re currently working with the Environment Online team at the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation on the implementation of an integrated data environment. This will mean that data submitted as part of a regulatory process will flow seamlessly into the platform. However, if your organisation has a collection of historical biodiversity data and would like to provide it to BIO, please do let us know.

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Map of Western Australia with location points plotted