Join STERNA and share your content with a global community of bird lovers

How can you benefit?

Five steps to becoming a member



As a network member, you can benefit in many ways:

Link your resources to a pool of bird-related information

STERNA is a distinct web resource on birds. The contributing organisations are well-known and acknowledged representatives in the field of natural history, biodiversity and conservation. By linking your resources to the growing pool of content, you contribute to creating a unique and highly attractive digital library that harbours many unexpected and surprising aspects for users interested in birds.


Work in a peer network

STERNA is mainly about networking and cooperating. The participating content providers are connected technically, by setting up a peer-to-peer network, and organisationally, by fostering collaboration between the participating members. Working in the STERNA environment, you can contribute your own resources, while also making use of the resources of the other members. You work together in enriching content and can consult with the participating members on how to deliver the best results.


Attract more visitors and reach broader audiences

You can offer the STERNA search function on your own web site via an Application Programming Interface (API). Thus, users can search STERNA directly from your website. By offering the search functionality on your own site, you can also present other partners’ content on your own site, which may increase the attractiveness of your site especially for return visitors.

To see, how members realised their own “window to STERNA”, check out the currently available search portals!


Make search queries for users more effective

Using STERNA, users can carry out searches across all the participating member sites simultaneously. They can start queries using common concepts and bird names, and do not need to know the expert term to discover relevant content. Thus, laypersons and non-expert users gain access to content normally reserved to professionals. By issuing queries in their native language, users receive relevant content from any of the member sites, even if the resources are in a different language. Finally, advanced navigation tools such as facet navigation allows your audiences to discover relevant web content much more efficiently.

Improve your organisational skills

Current STERNA members emphasised that participating in STERNA significantly improved the skills of their own personnel. Working with established standards to ensure interoperability, getting acquainted with semantic web standards like SKOS and RDF, as well as the overall benefit of exchanging knowledge with the experienced staff of larger organisations has helped the network members to raise their in-house skills and competencies.

Use STERNA as a stepping stone to Europeana

STERNA will also contribute data to Europeana, the European digital library flagship project. Thus, your content will also be available via the largest European digital library portal.



Five steps to becoming a member

(1)    Contact Naturalis
(2)    Send a sample set of your data
(3)    Sign the partnership agreement
(4)    Receive access to the STERNA services and tools
(5)    Connect and share your content with a worldwide community of bird lovers

1.    Contact Naturalis

If you are interested in joining STERNA, please contact the Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity Naturalis. NCB Naturalis is hosting the STERNA service and also manages the partner network.

Contact information: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

2.    Send a sample set of your data

There are several ways to connect to the STERNA network. To find out the best and most efficient way for your organisation, we need to evaluate the content you plan to contribute. We therefore need a sample set of your data. For this purpose, we have created a template for content selection and analysis. Please fill out the template and send it to NCB Naturalis. We will evaluate your data and contact you with suggestions on how to best connect to the STERNA environment. Please note: The focus is strictly on bird-related content!

Download the template for content selection and analysis.

3.    Sign the STERNA partnership agreement

Once your content has been evaluated and a decision made on how to best connect, you are ready to sign the partnership agreement. The agreement specifies the collections and resources that you would like to contribute, and states the rights and obligations of becoming a member. NCB Naturalis will sign the partnership agreement on behalf of the STERNA consortium.

Download and review the STERNA partnership agreement.

4.    Receive access to STERNA services & tools

With signing the partnership agreement, you will become a full member eligible to use all STERNA tools and services. To use the RNA toolset™, you will receive the URL and login data to access the web service.  In addition, you will receive the STERNA content enrichment methodology, which is a manual that leads you through the process of linking your content to the overall pool of bird-related content.

Download the STERNA content enrichment methodology

5.    Connect and share your content with a worldwide community of bird lovers

Studying the content enrichment manual will enable you to prepare your data and make it ready for upload to the STERNA environment. Once your data has been uploaded, you can further edit and link it to other partners’ content using the RNA toolset™.

The RNA toolset™ is available at: (Login required)

The online manual for the RNA Toolset™ can be accessed at: (Login required)

If you have any questions or need further support, please contact NCB Naturalis at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it