Kinosternon leucostomum (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1851) observed in Mexico by Ismael Arellano Ciau (licensed under

The VertNet IPT

VertNet uses the Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT) to host published biodiversity data and make these data available to data portals and other aggregators.

Are you ready to share your data, but unsure about IPT and your hosting options? Take a look at answers to frequently asked questions, below.


What is the Integrated Publishing Toolkit?

The IPT is a free, open source web application designed to publish primary occurrence data, species checklists and taxonomies, and associated dataset metadata available for use on the Internet. Data are published as web-based Darwin Core Archives (simple ZIP files that contain tab-delimited or comma-separated text files organized using the Darwin Core Standard). The IPT is used by a growing number of data portals and aggregators globally. It was developed and is maintained by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) with significant support from the broad informatics community, including VertNet.

To learn more about the IPT, it’s key features, and technical attributes, please visit GBIF’s IPT page.

Why let VertNet host our data for us?

Hosting your data on the VertNet IPT eliminates the need for you to maintain a server, update the IPT software, and spend your money on IT services. We’ll take care of all of that for you - although we won’t spend your money for you, unless you ask. You retain control over all of your data, which data you share, and how often you choose to update. You can publish as many datasets as you need and we can help you each step of the way.

How much control do we have over what is published?

You decide what to publish and how often you update your data. VertNet does not claim any ownership of your data. You will have the opportunity to apply waivers and terms of use to your data set(s) prior to publication — a VertNet team member will discuss this with you when we begin the process of data mobilization.

Data for an entire organization can be published in one data set, or in data sets specific to independently curated collections. The decision is up to you, but it will affect how your user statistics in varous data portals are aggreagated and delivered. When we begin working with you to publish via IPT, we will discuss the details of the best way to accommodate the needs of your organization.

What are we committing to when we publish our data?

The expectations for participation in the VertNet and other data portals remain the same as they have been since MaNIS was created in 2001.

As a VertNet data publisher you are making a commitment to:

  • Maintain an accessible repository of high-quality specimen data.
  • Provide waivers, licenses, or terms of use for these publicly accessible data, as appropriate.
  • Provide accompanying metadata about your institution and collections.
  • Register your organization and data resources with GBIF so that users, search engines and portals can locate your data access point.

Will my data be searchable in a data portal?

Yes, your data will be available and searchable via the VertNet and GBIF data portals - and any other data portal you choose, such as iDigBio. The portals will harvest the data from the appropriate IPT instance and make it available for visualization and analysis, as long as they can harvest and process Darwin Core Archives.

How often do we need to update our data?

The frequency with which you update your data is entirely up to you. Many update on a monthly basis. Lots of others update whenever they have accumulated enough new data or updated legacy data. Establishing a direct database link to the VertNet IPT can make the process very easy, but not all databases can be linked directly. Let us know if you are interested and we can explore all of the possibilities together.

How much does it cost to use the VertNet IPT?

Use of the VertNet IPT is free and will cost you nothing. Nada. Zero. Zip. We are happy to accept home-baked goods in exchange for this service - cookies, muffins, cinnamon rolls and the like.

Ready to get started? Let us know.