Investment in the long-tail of biodiversity data: from local research to global knowledge
In business, the "long-tail economy" refers to a market strategy where the gravity center shifts from a few high-demand products to many, varied products focused on small niches. Commercialization of individually low-demand products can be profitable as long as their production cost is low and, all taken together, they aggregate into a big chunk of the market. Similarly, in the "business" of biodiversity data acquisition, we can find several mainstream products that produce zillions of bits of information every year and account for most of the budget allocated to increase our primary data-based knowledge about Earth's biological diversity. These products play a crucial role in biodiversity research. However, along with these large global projects, there is a constellation of small-scale institutions that work locally, but whose contribution to our understanding of natural processes should not be dismissed. These information datasets can be collectively referred to as the "long-tail biodiversity data".