September 2017– September 2020

ISIpedia: the open climate-impacts encyclopedia


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Although scientists have acquired a breadth of knowledge on climate change impacts, past and future, on human and natural systems, this knowledge is often not conveyed in a manner suitable or relevant for decision-making. The ISIpedia project addresses this challenge by enabling collaboration between modellers and various stakeholders in the design of a reliable and comprehensive information and data service on current and future climate impacts.

How ISIpedia works

ISIpedia, the open, inter- and multisectoral impacts encyclopedia, aims to become a key reference for accessing consistent, policy-relevant, and user-driven climate-impact information. The web-based portal will be developed in tandem with a diversity of potential end-users, ensuring accessibility across many experience levels and a user-friendly interface.

The project is composed of three teams:

  • Stakeholder Engagement Team, led by Climate Analytics
  • ISIMIP Modelling Team, coordinated from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research (PIK)
  • ISIpedia Web-platform Assessment and Editorial Team, overseen by IIASA

The Stakeholder Engagement Team, housed at Climate Analytics, facilitates collaborative and reciprocal processes with modeller and non-modeller stakeholders. This includes interactive workshops focusing on research co-design and mutual learning, an online survey for gathering end-user inputs, and two-way knowledge brokering.

Input on Design of ISIpedia Portal

We have been actively involved in the iterative rounds of design and feedback on the development of the ISIpedia portal. In the first year of the project, the ISIpedia partners, in coordination with a design company, have been working on developing “ISIpedia wireframes,” scaffolding of all of the features and structures necessary and desired for a user-friendly, climate-impact portal. The development of the wireframes drew on examples of existing climate services and other socio-environmental data portals. More importantly, input from many stakeholders heavily influenced the ISIpedia wireframes.

Responses from the ISIpedia Stakeholder survey were directly fed into the wireframe development discussions. Topics such as useful features and content were extracted from the survey and shared with the design team. Additionally, SET created a set of hypothetical “user journeys” or potential click-paths that a stakeholder may want to take when visiting the future ISpedia platform. A small group of stakeholders familiar with ISIpedia also commented on an intermediary draft of the wireframes through a feedback webinar. This provided the design company with a direct channel of communication to the future users of the ISIpedia portal.

Within this review process, it also became clear that stakeholders are not only interested in peer-reviewed articles, which is what ISIpedia provides, but also in ISIMIP based indicators. To meet these stakeholder needs, Climate Analytics offered to do further data analysis and visualise the needed data in the final workshops. Thanks to synergies with the NGFS project, we were able to make these analysis and visualisation available through the newly launched Climate Impact Explorer. The tool complements the information available on ISIpedia.