The Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA), a cross-cutting network of DIVERSITAS, aims to encourage and synthesize research on high-altitude organismic diversity, its regional and global patterns, and its causes and functions (Koerner and Spehn, 2002; Spehn et al., 2005). Existing and emerging electronic databases are among the most promising tools in this fi eld. Gradients of altitude and associated climatic trends, topographic and soil peculiarities, and fragmentation and connectivity among biota and their varied geological and phylogenetic history are the major drivers and aspects of mountain biodiversity, and electronic archives provide avenues for testing their impact on life at high elevations. This research agenda was developed at a GMBA workshop in the Central Caucasus in July 2006. It capitalizes on expertise from different fi elds of biology and database experts, and was developed in cooperation with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). Enhancing awareness of the central role of georeferencing in database building and use is one of the central tasks of this agenda. Once achieved, this permits linkage of biological information with other geophysical information, particularly climate data. The mountains of the world exhibit different climatic trends along their slopes, with only few factors, such as the decline in atmospheric pressure, ambient temperature, and clear sky radiation changing in a common, altitude-specifi c way across the globe. None of the other key components of climate, such as cloudiness and, with it, actual solar radiation or precipitation and associated soil moisture, show such global trends, and hence are not altitude-specifi c. The separation of global from regional environmental conditions along elevational transects offers new perspectives for understanding adaptation of mountain biota. Similarly, information on bedrock chemistry and mountain topography offers test conditions for edaphic drivers of biodiversity and species radiation in an evolutionary context across geographical scales.