The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) held its 5th plenary session in Bonn during March 2017. After last year’s pollinator assessment, the biodiversity assessments currently being undertaken are shortly to be available for peer review. The scientific community can play an important role in both conducting assessments and in the peer-review process. Independent scientists can contribute to ensure that these assessments are comprehensive with respect to the current state and future trends of biodiversity and the ecosystem services. We outline possibilities for deeper involvement of the scientific community in the IPBES process and draw attention to upcoming reviews in 2017.