Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)

We are a non-profit organization and community dedicated to developing biodiversity information standards

Image by Jennifer Latuperisa-Andresen

Historically known as the Taxonomic Databases Working Group, today's Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) is a not-for-profit, scientific and educational association formed to establish international collaboration among the creators, managers and users of biodiversity information and to promote the wider and more effective dissemination and sharing of knowledge about the world's heritage of biological organisms.

To achieve its goals, TDWG:

  • develops, ratifies and promotes standards and guidelines for the recording and exchange of data about organisms;
  • acts as a forum for discussing all aspects of biodiversity information management through meetings, online discussions, and publications.

See the About section to learn how TDWG operates and how you can participate. Active Interest Groups are described under Community.

TDWG 2020 goes virtual. Program committee calls for contributions.

TDWG 2020 will be held online in the fall and will have two parts: a week of working sessions (Sep 21-25) and a second week (Oct 19-23) for disseminating the latest developments in biodiversity information science and standards. The call for individual abstracts has been posted. The deadline for abstracts is 12 August!

Learn more

Our most popular standards

Darwin Core

Darwin Core is a standard maintained by the Darwin Core maintenance group. It includes a glossary of terms intended to facilitate the sharing of information about biological diversity by providing identifiers, labels, and definitions. Darwin Core is primarily based on taxa, their occurrence in nature as documented by observations, specimens, samples, and related information.

World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions (WGSRPD)

WGSRPD provides an agreed system of geographical units at approximately "country" level and upwards for use in recording plant distributions. It allows adopting organizations to compare and exchange data with each other without loss of information due to incompatible geographical boundaries. The system offered covers the whole world and identifies units at four levels, firstly continental, secondly regional (or subcontinental), thirdly at what may be called "Botanical Country" level (which may often ignore purely political considerations), and fourthly at a slightly lower level called "Basic Recording Units" where political integrity is fully recognised.

Audubon Core

The Audubon Core (AC) is a set of vocabularies designed to represent metadata for biodiversity multimedia resources and collections. These vocabularies aim to represent information that will help to determine whether a particular resource or collection will be fit for some particular biodiversity science application before acquiring the media. Among others, the vocabularies address such concerns as the management of the media and collections, descriptions of their content, their taxonomic, geographic, and temporal coverage, and the appropriate ways to retrieve, attribute and reproduce them.

Browse all standards


Image by
Public Review of GGBN and ABCD-EFG begins

TDWG Standards Update: 30-day public reviews open for GGBN and ABCD-EFG The ratification process for new TDWG standards entails both expert and public review. Two draft standards have passed expert review and are now ready for public review. GGBN - Global …

Image by
Biodiversity Summit 2020 POSTPONED

Biodiversity Summit 2020 POSTPONED The 2020 annual conference for Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) has been postponed until 2021. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, governments around the world have issued directives that effectively require conferences to be cancelled. TDWG's 2020 …

Browse all news

Keep up to date with TDWG

Sign up to receive all important TDWG announcements.

Subscribe to our Announcements List
Support TDWG in its mission
Become a member