NatureScot Research Report 1304 - Scottish marine biodiversity data review - stakeholder analysis to inform the marine species and habitats data infrastructure and management requirements for improved availability, accessibility and use in Scotland.
The aim of this marine review was to explore and determine limitations to the existing infrastructure, through engagement with key stakeholders, and present recommendations that will make the management and use of marine species and habitat data more consistent, joined up and accessible to the marine community in future. The key barriers to sharing marine species and habitats data identified in this review, preventing wider re-use, relate to: cultural and behavioural barriers, which range from reticence to share data for commercial reasons to barriers resulting from concerns over how the data might be used or misused/misinterpreted; practical barriers, which range from a lack of data integration (linked to the adoption of standards and consistent data formats) causing bottlenecks in the process to not understanding how to make data available in meaningful ways; and inadequate strategies and resources that result in data often being made available in an opportunistic manner rather than being focused on need and frequently without sufficient resources. The resulting top priorities to better coordinate and streamline the flow of Scottish biodiversity data, identified through this analysis of stakeholder needs, are: governance and stakeholder engagement; data sharing; data accessibility; data availability; and collaboration and commitment. Committed investment into skills resource and data infrastructures now will lead to long-term impact and savings (time and money) in the future, by creating more streamlined data workflows and accessible and reusable data. A prioritisation matrix was used to score the high-level recommendations, firstly based on their impact or value (reward) and secondly on the effort or investment (time, money) needed to complete them.