Natural Science Collections in Europe host ca. 1.5 billion (1.5×109) biological and geological collection objects, which represent about 80% of the known current and past bio- and geo-diversity on Earth. Accessing to and mobilising the data contained and the knowledge built thanks to those collections is at the core of MOBILISE Cost Action. Research data and the researchers community providing such priceless richness are pivotal to support, promote and foster scientific advances.
Reliable and precise biological and geological diversity information is essential for the study and understanding of our planet and provides the basis for monitoring and preserving environmental quality, measuring (global and regional) changes over time, identifying and protecting endangered species and modelling ecosystem responses to human activities and climatic change. This scientific cornerstone underpins also countless inventions and products critical to our economy such as processes relating to health, agricultural threats and food security.
Over the last decade, European scientific collections have made much progress in transforming their physical holdings into digital surrogates and publishing them via the emerging and collaboratively developed biodiversity data infrastructures. If properly digitised, described with standardised metadata, and published through interoperable data platforms, specimen-derived data can be seamlessly integrated into scientific workflows and contribute to a wide range of biodiversity, geodiversity and trans-disciplinary research undertakings.