Sphagnum capillifolium Hedwig, 1782 observed in Canada by Randal via iNaturalist



Biological collections are replete with taxonomic, geographic, temporal, numerical, and historical information. This information is crucial for understanding and properly managing biodiversity and ecosystems, but is often difficult to access. Canadensys, operated from the Université de Montréal Biodiversity Centre, is a Canada-wide effort to make the biodiversity information held in Canadian biological collections and institutions accessible to everyone.

Canadensys publishes specimen data from Canadian natural history collections, as well as other kinds of biodiversity data, such as species checklists (many of which include estimates of species richness), observations and ecological data. Some of these resources include data on species new to science. Canadensys also hosts the data publication platforms for two online taxonomic journals, Specimen and Collection.

Our goal is to digitize, publish and georeference data compatible with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). Collection managers openly publish their data as Darwin Core, an internationally-accepted biodiversity information standard. A data portal, based on the GBIF data portal, allows access to biodiversity data from Canadian publishers, including images and geospatial information. In addition, we host the Database of Canadian Vascular Plants (VASCAN), a searchable checklist of up-to-date scientific and vernacular names.

By enabling the publication of these data, Canadensys facilitates cross-analyses of species occurrence data within geospatial and environmental models. This enhances both our understanding of global environmental issues and the development of sound biodiversity policies across the country.

Data published on Canadensys

Since September 2011, Canadian institutions and researchers have been publishing their biodiversity information via the Canadensys repository. Most of the datasets contain specimen data, but checklists and observation data are present as well. All datasets are published in the biodiversity information standard Darwin Core, and you can explore, download and use them for free under an open license. If you are interested in publishing your own dataset, start here.

For more detailed statistics, see this Google Spreadsheet.

How to cite Canadensys

This is the preferred formats for citing data published through the Canadensys network. If other citation practices apply, feel free to use them, but please include a link.

Aggregated data

Example: Acadia University, Université de Montréal Biodiversity Centre, University of Toronto Mississauga, University of British Columbia. https://canadensys.net/occurrence/ (accessed on 2012-03-21)

Format: [list of data publishers]. https://canadensys.net/occurrence/ (accessed on [date])

Single dataset

Example with DOI: Green Plant Herbarium (TRT) from Royal Ontario Museum. http://dx.doi.org/10.5886/g7j6gct1 (accessed on 2012-03-21)

Format: [dataset name] from [data publisher]. http://dx.doi.org/ [DOI of dataset] (accessed on [date])

Single specimen/observation record

Example: MT00012345, Marie-Victorin Herbarium (MT) from Université de Montréal Biodiversity Centre. https://canadensys.net/occurrence/ (accessed on 2012-03-21)

Format: [record id], [dataset name] from [data publisher]. [link to dataset] (accessed on [date])