Publishing Virtual Library Record (VLR) | Step-by-step guides | About ABSCH | Access and Benefit-Sharing Clearing-House
Step-by-step guide

Publishing Virtual Library Record (VLR)

Introduction to the ABS Clearing-House

The Access and Benefit-Sharing Clearing-House (ABS Clearing-House or ABSCH) has been developed as a tool to support the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol. It serves as a means for sharing of information related to access and benefit-sharing arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. In particular, it provides access to information made available Parties, as well as other stakeholders, relevant to the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

Minimum Requirements

1. Please ensure you are using the latest version of a popular internet browser, such as: 

2. To be able to submit reference records, you will need a CBD Account. Opening an account only takes a few minutes and requires a valid email address.

3. To publish national records, in addition to a CBD Account, you will also need the appropriate role (Publishing Authority or Authorized User) to access and publish information on behalf of your government.

Getting help

Help using the ABS Clearing-House is always available. The Secretariat is happy to help if you experience any technical difficulties or if you have any questions or feedback on using the ABS Clearing-House. To contact  the Secretariat, please  e-mail us at or use the live chat help desk.  The live chat help desk can be accessed by clicking on the green question mark located in the bottom right corner of the page for immediate interaction with Secretariat staff for technical support and guidance.

About Virtual Library Resources (VLR)

A virtual library resource is a type of reference record in the Access and Benefit-Sharing Clearing-House (ABSCH). These can include capacity-building resources and are made available through the ABSCH’s virtual library. Records in the virtual library are not limited to capacity-building resources. They include a variety of information related to ABS, such as general literature and other resources meant for awareness-raising, training, as well as capacity-building. Although any user with a CBD account can submit reference records, including capacity-building resources, the SCBD is responsible for validating and publishing them in the ABSCH. 
Sharing information through the ABSCH will multiply the impact and visibility of your capacity-building resources and contribute to making the ABSCH a central repository of tools and resources for Parties and other stakeholders. It will further help those involved in developing new resources to avoid duplication and determine the need to develop new, or adapt existing resources to support the implementation of the Protocol.

STEP 1: Sign in to the ABS Clearing-House

To sign in, click the “SIGN IN” link located at the very the top right corner of the page, and enter your email and password.  If you have forgotten your password please click the following link to reset it: If you don’t have a CBD account, you can create one at:

STEP 2: Edit an existing record or open a new submission form

Once you have signed in, click on “Submit” in the main navigation bar and you will be taken to your Record Management Centre Dashboard. 



The Dashboard provides an overview of the shared national records for your country. Click on the name of the type of record you would like to edit or add to the ABS Clearing-House. 


Open a submission form

Next, click the "Add New" button or click on the "Edit" icon associated to the record you would like to update to open the submission form.

Submission form controls

Please fill in the submission form and complete all fields. Mandatory fields are indicated with an asterisk(*). The highlighted button shows you what step of the submission process you are currently on.  Clicking on the "Introduction" tab will give you important information on how to complete the form. Clicking on the "Review" tab will allow you to preview the record and highlight the mandatory fields that need to be filled before it is possible to publish the record. The record can be saved as a draft at any time. Frequently saving of records is recommended.


Submission language(s)

It is possible to introduce information one or more of the six official UN languages. The first question on each submission form asks you to select the languages you wish to submit the record in (at least one language needs to be selected). 

Website language

If you wish to view to the submission form in another language, you may change the language of the website by selecting one of the UN languages from the drop down menu located at the very top right hand corner of the screen

STEP 3: Complete the VLR form

The key sections of the Virtual Library Resource form are General information, Attachment of the files, documents, or resources, Information on the content of attachments and Keywords for facilitating online searches.

General Information

Before entering the document, the first key information to enter is under “General Information”. Fields that are mandatory are marked with an asterisk (*). Please enter the title, the type of resource, format/file type, and enter the format details. If the type of resource you want to publish is not mentioned in the list, please select the type that is most similar.

It is important to “identify the main purpose of the resource“. As opposed to reference material/literature, capacity-building resources are used primarily to enhance the capacity to implement the Nagoya Protocol.

All options other than ‘reference material /literature’ will identify your VLR record as a capacity-building resource

If you have selected a purpose related to capacity-building, you will be asked to enter additional information, such as the target group(s)/beneficiary of the capacity-building resource. For example, if your resource aims to raise awareness for the general public, please select General Public. You can also indicate the level or expertise of the target audience or content: beginner, intermediate, or advanced knowledge/expertise for the capacity building resource.

Next, add the author(s). The author can be one or more persons and/or an organization. If the author is an organization, add the organization under “Authoring organizations” and select from the list of organizations. If you cannot find a particular organization in the list, you may click “Add new organization” and complete the form in the pop-up. 

Note: The reference record common format for organization is a different type of record than national contacts due to differences in ownership and publishing processes between national and reference records. 


Attached files, documents or resources

In the second section, please use the “Add file” button to attach the file containing the virtual library resource to the record. The file will then be stored in the ABSCH for users to download. You can also add a link to a web page where the resource can be found. Whenever possible, it is preferable to attach the relevant file to the record to avoid broken links. It is important to note that documents and materials can be submitted through the ABSCH in multiple languages, including in local and indigenous languages. If a resource is available in multiple languages, it is not necessary to add a separate record for each translation. Please include all available translations in the same record.


Information on the content of attachment

In the third part of the submission form please provide a concise summary or abstract of 300 words or less. If the resource being uploaded relates or applies to a particular country or region, select the relevant country(ies) or region(s) from the drop down menu. In addition to contributing to Aichi Target 16 on the Nagoya Protocol, some records can also contribute to other Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Please select the Aichi Biodiversity Target(s) that are related to the resource. Additional information on the Aichi Biodiversity Targets can be found at:


Keywords for facilitating online searches

In this section please indicate the relevant key areas identified in the Strategic Framework for capacity-building and development to support the effective implementation of the Nagoya Protocol by checking the corresponding boxes. More information on the Key Areas of the Strategic Framework, under decision NP-1/8, can be found here:

The final part of the submission is “Additional Information” and “Notes”. Please include any other relevant information in these sections. The field for “Notes” is for your use only and does not appear in the display of the published record.

STEP 4: Review

Once you have completed all the fields, click on the “Review” tab to check that all the mandatory fields have been properly filled. On this tab a message will highlight any missing fields that need to be filled before it is possible to publish the record. You may click on the missing field to go to that field in the submission form.


When all the mandatory fields have been filled correctly, the message “the document is valid” will appear.  You are almost done! The next and final step is to publish the record.

STEP 5: Publish

To publish a record, click on the "Publish" tab. If you record contains any errors you will be redirected back to the Review tab until the errors are correct.  Please note that you can save the record as a draft at any time. 


If you are the Publishing Authority, you see the green “Publish”  button and will be able to publish the record directly on the ABS Clearing-House.


If you are a National Authorized User, you will see the red “Request Publication” button.  Clicking this button will automatically send a request to the Publishing Authority to verify and approve your submission before it will become publicly available on the ABS Clearing-House.