The information contained in each collection or database (large or small) is unique. By participating in GBIF, every institution and collection are supporting the vision about biodiversity generated by the GBIF network, obtaining more visibility and recognition for their work.

From a functional view, the node is presented as a distributed database system providing access to all this information. Thus, there is not a large central database created with the additions of each collection responsible, but each collection creates, maintains and manages its own database, having the control over which information is made accessible by Internet and which one not. In this sense, our system is organized as a “federation of databases“. We link this federation to a system not too different from those used in web browsers as Google, which is in charge of registering the results of queries about all the databases included in the node and present them in a coherent way.

The network can be symmetric if all participants institutions act, at the same time, as an access point to the information. Some benefits derived from this approach are the data control by the providing institutions, the automatization of the updates and the fact that the origin and recognition of data are palpable.