News | Nov. 6, 2023 | Juliane Röder

NFDI4Biodiversity Podcast: A Guide through the Legal Maze of Biodiversity Data - First Episode Available!

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Data in Research: A Key to Understanding

In research, data is the key to gaining insights. We work with our own data, access information from other researchers, and utilize data from public sources. In this complex landscape, important questions arise: What legal aspects must be considered? Who owns this data? What leeway exists for meaningful data utilization in research? And does data even have a clear ownership?

"Rechtsdschungel" Podcast

In our recently launched "Rechtsdschungel" podcast, we explore these and many more questions regarding biodiversity and environmental data. A solid understanding of what is allowed - or even necessary - with our research data is crucial to meet the requirements of good scientific practice, as demanded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Biodiversity Data for Biodiversity Conservation

Preserving biodiversity requires making as many of the collected biodiversity data available as possible. This is essential for creating complex syntheses and models, crucial for the work of the IPBES and serving as the foundation for political decisions.

Support from NFDI4Biodiversity

One of NFDI4Biodiversity's responsibilities is to assist researchers in making their data more available within a clear legal framework. This involves providing both technical solutions and extensive services, as well as offering training and exchange formats on FAIR data management, workflows, and legal issues.

The Complex Relationship Between Law and Science

Unser Podcast bietet einen Einblick in die komplexe Beziehung zwischen Recht und Wissenschaft. Unsere Fachdiskussionsteilnehmenden, Dr. Ortrun Brand von der Universität Marburg, Tom Witschas vom Unabhägigen Institut für Umweltfragen (UfU) und Dr. Daniel Tschink von der German Federation for Biological Data (GFBio), beleuchten die rechtlichen Aspekte im Umgang mit Biodiversitätsdaten. Ihr Ziel ist es, ein tiefgehendes Verständnis für den rechtlichen Rahmen zu vermitteln, in dem Forschende, Datensammlnde und Datennutzende agieren. Die praktische Expertise unserer Partner bei NFDI4Biodiversity fließt ebenfalls in diese Diskussion ein und bereichert sie um wertvolle Einblicke und praxisrelevante Fragen.

First Podcast Episode: Rights and Responsibilities in Research Data

In the first episode of our podcast, we delve into the topic of rights and responsibilities in handling research data. We explore questions about data ownership when collecting information about animals and plants. Additionally, we discuss the ownership of the database that stores this information and the legal distinction between the data itself and the database. We cover the intricacies of data ownership, copyright, and intellectual property rights, especially in the context of field research and scientific collaborations. Challenges and best practices are thoroughly discussed to ensure that data is collected and shared ethically.

The "Rechtsdschungel" podcast offers an informative resource to navigate the world of biodiversity data. It is available in the NFDI4Biodiversity Knowledge Base.


Tom Witschas is a full jurist and project leader at the Independent Institute for Environmental Affairs (UfU). He specializes in environmental law and participation. His work heavily focuses on expediting environmental legal planning procedures and strategies to combat invasive species, with a particular emphasis on data-related questions.

Ortrun Brand is a political scientist and has been leading the state-wide collaborative project "Hessische Forschungsdateninfrastrukturen" (HeFDI) since October 2016. In this role, she coordinates the establishment of a research data management infrastructure at ten Hessian universities and colleges. She also heads the NFDI4Biodiversity subarea Training & Education (TA1M4). Prior to her current role, she worked on various third-party-funded research projects, with a focus on examining working conditions and organizational changes through digital research data and case studies.

Daniel Tschink is a biologist and serves as the training coordinator at NFDI4Biodiversity. His role focuses on designing training initiatives for researchers and data collectors in the field of biodiversity. The aim is to bridge the gap between biological research and effective data management, thereby improving data quality and accessibility.

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Juliane works as a project assistant at the Service Center for Digitally Assisted Research at the Philipps University of Marburg and supports the Training and Education department within the NFDI4Biodiversity. In this role, she designs and organizes courses, creates training materials and maintains contacts with teachers. As an ecologist, Juliane has already tracked insects and other arthropods from the tropics to the Arctic Circle, from the ground to the treetops. She is particularly interested in bumblebees, rose chafer beetles, dead wood and species detection dogs. Through her previous work for the GfÖ and as a scientific project coordinator, she brings expertise in event organization and public relations.

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