Q. What will the program funding cover?
A. Program funding can only be issued to Australian institutions for the digitisation of existing species occurrence records. Funding cannot be used to purchase, transition, or develop new database software, however funding can be used to cover wages and purchasing necessary equipment to support digitising activities (e.g. cameras and scanners).
Q. What is classified as an ‘Australian institution’?
A. A museum, university, government organisation, non-government organisation or any business or charity with a registered Australian Business Number (ABN).
Q. What type of data should I provide to the ALA?
A. This program only supports mobilising existing species occurrence records (i.e. the program does not support fieldwork to collect new data). The ALA requires that data be delivered in a Darwin Core Standard format under a Creative Commons licence. The ALA has templates for how this should be provided.
Q. What are national priorities?
A. Proposals must address one or more national priorities to highlight its importance to the panel. Examples of national priorities relevant to this program include the Commonwealth Threatened Species Action Plan, species that have been identified as underrepresented by programs such as BushBlitz, priorities identified in the National Biosecurity Strategy, or recommendations emerging from national biodiversity reporting programs such as the national State of the Environment report.
Q. Is the ALA looking for projects which target certain taxa?
A: We are accepting applications that focus on data from any species, however priority will be given to taxonomic groups that are under-represented in the ALA. Examples include, but are not limited to invertebrate groups, non-vascular plants, and marine species.
Q. How can I find out what taxonomic, spatial, and temporal gaps exist in ALA data?
A. We recommend exploring ALA to see what volume of data are already available for the subject of your proposed captured data. You could also refer to science-led work, for example the State of the Environment (2021) report, Bush Blitz reports, and topical literature. As an additional example, here is a map released by Bush Blitz highlighting survey gaps within Australia.
Q. I applied to the 2022 program and was unsuccessful. Can I apply again with the same project?
A. Yes. You are welcome to re-apply for the 2023 program, however your new application must address the updated 2023 selection criteria, grants policy and guidelines. See here for further information.
Q. If my 2023 application is successful, what needs to be provided to the ALA?
A. If successful, you will be required to provide your data to ALA in Darwin Core Standard and make it open and accessible under a Creative Commons licence. Additionally, you are required provide a short report including photographs to the ALA summarising what was achieved with the funding. The ALA team will be hosting information sessions, Q&A drop-in sessions, and one-on-one meetings to help support your project.
Q. My institution may already provide data to the ALA. Does my data need to be delivered independently?
A: Successful applicants must check whether their organisation is already sending data to ALA. If they are, applicants must arrange with the data manager at their organisation to have the project data included with the rest of the organisation.
Q. Does my data have to be completely analogue, such as handwritten notes or biological specimens?
A. No, it can be stored on a computer, but it must not have been shared with the ALA before. For example, if you have records from fieldwork in a spreadsheet, if it has not been shared to the ALA before, this will qualify. In this case, the work would entail conversion of the data to the Darwin Core Standard.
Still have questions about the program or application process? Come along to our Q&A virtual drop-in session.