Data in Fauna Europaea are fully expert based. The database is build from scratch by leading experts. They are critically reviewing and evaluating all available information (collections, observations, research, etc.), not by simply merging data from available resources like faunas, monographs, checklists or collection data. For distributional details local checklists are only used selectively (when scrutinised). Furthermore, all Fauna Europaea data sets are intensively reviewed and scrutinised.
To check and improve the quality of data in Fauna Europaea, five basic procedures were applied:
- During the first project phase of Fauna Europaea (2000-2004), the National Museum of Natural History in Paris was in charge for validating the delivered data sets by means of cross-checking and reviewing with existing national, regional and local resources (checklists and literature), following the criteria on data standards, data semantics, data accuracy, data reliability, and inclusiveness of data as developed for Fauna Europaea.
- In addition, for both offline and online data entry systems checks on the technical and logical correctness for all data entered by the taxonomic editors have been implemented as ‘Taxonomic Integrity Rules’.
- In order to have a better estimate of the present distribution of terrestrial species in Europe, to spread the Fauna Europaea information and share taxonomic knowledge with local specialists, regional validation workshops have been held in areas relevant for their importance in terms of species richness or endemicity.
- In parallel, a program was initiated on validating Fauna Europaea with help of National Focal Points, involving local taxonomic experts, cross-checking Fauna Europaea data with national species lists or other local resources.
- Finally, feedback was provided by users via the Fauna Europaea web form, which are forwarded to the relevant experts.