Welcome to BEFdata, Datasharing for Biodiversity - ecological functioning research units

BEFdata platforms support interdisciplinary data sharing and harmonisation of distributed research projects collaborating with each other. They upload, validate and store data from a formatted Excel workbook. Metadata can be downloaded in Ecological Metadata Language (EML). BEFdata allows the harmonization of naming conventions by generating category lists from the primary data, which can be reviewed and managed via the Excel workbook or directly on the platform. BEFdata provides a secure environment during on-going analysis; project members can only access primary data from other researchers after the acceptance of a data request

Main features of the BEFdata platform are:

  • Users can add data using the spreadsheet software they like best (Chapter 3, The BEFdata workbook, BEFdata user manual)

  • Metadata can be exported in international standards (Chapter 2.4, Data, BEFdata user manual)

  • Provide online access and manage within collaboration naming conventions as part of the primary data. (Chapter 5.2.1 Category management, BEFdata user manual)

  • Keeping record of ideas for analysis and data exchange (Chapter 2.5 Paper proposals, BEFdata user manual)

  • Data and metadata is available on one platform that can be used as machine readable interfaces between different platforms (our EML export being a first example)

BEFdata was developed withi the Chinese-European DFG Research Unit “BEF China” (FOR 891), a new forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning (BEF) experiment in subtropical forests in China.

Getting Started

  1. Prerequisites

* Ruby 1.9.3
* PostgreSql Database with plpgsql language
* ImageMagick
  1. Create config-files in project config folder

    You can use the provided template files and simply copy or rename them as following

    configuration.yml.dist -> configuration.yml
    database.yml.dist -> database.yml
  2. Set up the database-connection

    In config/database.yml set the username and password

  3. Configure ImageMagick

    Check ImageMagick path by running

    which convert

    Check if the path in config/environments/development.rb (or production.rb etc.) is corresponding to the one of convert

    Paperclip.options[:command_path] = "/usr/bin/"
  4. Setup the database

    rake db:setup
    
    load fixtures
    
    rake db:fixtures:load
  5. Fire up development server

    rails server

    And pointing your browser to localhost:3000 you should see your very own befdata instance.

License

Befdata is released under the MIT License (MIT):

Copyright © 2012 Department of Special Botany, University of Leipzig, represented by Christian Wirth, The BEF-China Research Unit of the German Research Foundation (DFG), represented by Helge Bruelheide, as well as Karin Nadrowski and Sophia Ratcliffe

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

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