Chapter 1 Introduction

Biodiversity resources are increasingly international. The SBDI has made an effort to canalize biodiversity data and resources to help the research community access and analyze Swedish primary biodiversity data. Each research question draws its own challenges which are unique in themselves. Our aim here is to provide a general workflow that hopefully answers or at least prompts the questions that should be asked at each stage of the process. We point to resources, methods and facilities that may be useful in answering a particular question. We assume some knowledge of statistical inference and its limitations. The validity and appropriateness of a particular method dependent on the individual researcher(s). This workflow is focused on the statistical programming language R, as an environment where the complete analysis workflow can be documented in a fully reproducible way. However, we also point to other tools that can be used at different stages, and ways to import and export the data from and to those tools.

We focus on biodiversity data and resources from Sweden but our aim is to present considerations and methods that can be applied beyond Sweden’s borders. The general workflow proposed is: Data –> Cleaning –> Fitness evaluation –> Analysis always exploring and filtering the data in light of the research question.