Date of this Version
BioScience (November 2021) 71(11): 1,128-1,147.
Presence-only biodiversity data are increasingly relied on in biodiversity, ecology, and conservation research, driven by growing digital infrastructures that support open data sharing and reuse. Recent reviews of open biodiversity data have clearly documented the value of data sharing, but the extent to which the biodiversity research community has adopted open data practices remains unclear. We address this question by reviewing applications of presence-only primary biodiversity data, drawn from a variety of sources beyond open databases, in the indexed literature. We characterize how frequently researchers access open data relative to data from other sources, how often they share newly generated or collated data, and trends in metadata documentation and data citation. Our results indicate that biodiversity research commonly relies on presence-only data that are not openly available and neglects to make such data available. Improved data sharing and documentation will increase the value, reusability, and reproducibility of biodiversity research.