FAQs

  1. How is the TDWG web site organized?
  2. What is Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)?
  3. Who uses TDWG standards and why?
  4. How do I get involved in TDWG?
  5. Who can join TDWG?
  6. When does TDWG meet?
  7. How is TDWG managed?
  8. What are TDWG's current priorities?
  9. What other organizations does TDWG link with?
  10. How do I start a new Interest Group?
  11. How do I start a new Task Group?
  12. How do I manage the review of a draft standard?
  13. How can I review a draft standard?

1. How is the TDWG web site organized?

The TDWG website is organized into several sub sites that target various audiences and serve the following purposes:

  • Main TDWG website: presents general information for members, clients and the public.
    • Membership, history, FAQs, blog, news, glossary, etc. for the public.
    • Standards, subgroup pages and services for members and clients.

  • TDWG Wiki: offers a collaborative, on-line environment for TDWG interest groups to develop documents and participate in discussions.
    • Webs to support online discussion for interest groups
    • Sandbox to play with ideas and develop strategies

  • Standard's Repository: stores documents that form parts of formal TDWG standards.

  • rs.tdwg.org: hosts documents that are accessed by machines.

  • Typo3: provides an online content management environment for administrators to maintain the TDWG website.

  • Proceedings of TDWG: an implementation of the Open Journal System for abstracts for approved presentations and posters at the TDWG annual conference.

  • Blog: allows registered users and members to publish informal  blog articles that may be interesting to other members.

2. What is Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)?

TDWG is a non-profit, international, scientific and educational association formed to develop standards for sharing biodiversity data. TDWG's main goal is to promote a wider and more effective circulation of information about the world's heritage of biological organisms.

3. Who uses TDWG standards and why?

TDWG standards are used by many organizations, institutions and individuals to utilize, conserve and support the exchange of biological collection data over the Internet. These organizations, institutions and individuals include:

  • Archiving initiatives
  • Biodiversity data holders (e.g. academia, museums, libraries, herbaria, botanical gardens, government agencies, researchers, students)
  • Biodiversity network developers (e.g. BioCASE, GBIF, IABIN)
  • Consumers of biodiversity data
  • Developers of collections management systems (e.g. Specify, KEmu)
  • GBIF Nodes
  • TDWG sub groups and members

4. How do I get involved in TDWG?

The best way to get involved in TDWG is to become a member and join an interest group! You can join TDWG by registering online or sending a completed application/renewal form to the TDWG Treasurer. Once you are a member, you can join an interest group by contacting the convener (see interest group homepage for contact information).

5. Who can join TDWG?

TDWG membership is opened to individuals, legal entities or organizational units, including institutions, universities, university departments, museums, herbaria, non-governmental organizations and governmental agencies.

6. When does TDWG meet?

TDWG meets each calendar year to discuss standards, elect officers, review reports on TDWG activities, discuss goverance/operation, set the date and place of the next annual meeting and conduct any other relevant business.

7. How is TDWG managed?

Members elect an Executive Committee (chair, secretary, treasurer, regional secretaries) to manage TDWG. Members are also co-opted to the Executive Committee to fulfill specific roles. Conveners of Interest and Task Groups are responsible for managing and leading their groups and report to the TDWG Executive Committee.

8. What are TDWG's current priorities?

TDWG's priorities are determined by the activities of the Interest Groups and their Task Groups. The news page informs about recent outputs and events.

9. What other organizations does TDWG link with?

TDWG is currently collaborating with a number of organizations. In addition, TDWG Interest and Task groups actively work to identify any overlaps between TDWG's goals and those of other standards organizations such as:

10. How do I start a new Interest Group?

Any TDWG member can start a new Interest Group by:

  1. Submitting an Interest Group charter to the Executive Committee that specifies the purpose and operation.
  2. If the Executive Committee approves the proposal, you will be notified within 30 days and the proposal will be released for public review.
  3. If the Executive Committee finds the proposal problematic, it will return the proposal to you with justification.

11. How do I start a new Task Group?

A new Task Group can be initiated by submitting a charter (approved by the Interest Group Convener) to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will make a decision within 30 days and announce the formation of the new Task Group to TDWG members if it's approved.

12. How do I manage the review of a draft standard?

Managing the review of a draft standard involves:

  1. The Task Group Convener submits the working draft and appropriate documentation as a package to the Secretary for the Executive Committee.
  2. If the Executive Committee agrees, they will appoint an independent Review Manager.*
  3. The Review Manager seeks relevant reviews and provides recommendations to the Executive Committee.
  4. The Executive Committee evaluates the recommendations.
  5. The Executive Committee can advance the standard with public review, request a new revision to address specific problems or decline the standard.*
  6. If the draft standard is approved, it will be placed in the TDWG repository for a minimum of 30 days for public comment.
  7. At the end of the comment period, the Task Group must address the comments and make any appropriate changes.
  8. If the draft has been through at least one round of public review before the Executive Committee, the draft is accepted as a Standard and its status in the repository is updated accordingly.

* If the standard is declined at any point in the ratification process, the Task Group Convener will be contacted with the decision and justification.

13. How can I review a draft standard?

Once the Executive Committee advances a draft, the proposed standard is placed in the TDWG repository and a request for comment (RFC) is published outlining the facilities and duration for public comment. TDWG members will then have a minimum of 30 days to review the draft.

  Last Modified: 01 May 2007