Taxon Concept Schema (TCS) Maintenance Group

The TCS maintenance group is responsible for maintaining the various components of the TCS standard. That includes managing suggested changes to the vocabulary, providing usage guidelines and examples, and ensuring the preservation and stability of metadata related to components of the standard.



  • Niels Klazenga – Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria / Atlas of Living Australia

Core members

  • Steve Baskauf – Vanderbilt University Heard Libraries
  • Stan Blum – TDWG
  • Markus Döring – GBIF
  • Nico Franz – Arizona State University
  • Anne Fuchs – Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research
  • Jeff Gerbracht – Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
  • Johan Liljeblad – SLU Swedish Species Information Centre
  • Richard Pyle – Bishop Museum
  • Jonathan Rees – independent
  • William Ulate – Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Campbell Webb – University of Alaska Museum of the North
  • Greg Whitbread – Taxamatics

Motivation and scope

This interest group is established to meet the requirements in Section 2.1 of the TDWG Vocabulary Maintenance Specification: to maintain the Taxon Concept Schema (TCS).

Goals, outputs, and outcomes

The maintenance group will:

  • maintain and enhance TCS. Our aim is a living standard that can be easily extended and that is universally useful, e.g. can help us build linked data as well as provide data in tabular form.
  • monitor the use of the standard and, where appropriate, recommend changes to the standard.
  • produce application profiles, reference implementations, tools, documentation and publications promoting the appropriate use of the standard.

Strategy and/or framework

The maintenance group will actively engage with stakeholders and the TDWG community to identify areas where the standard or its documentation can be improved. Most of the group’s business will be conducted in a public GitHub repository.

The documentation framework for the maintenance group is provided by the TDWG Vocabulary Maintenance Standard and Standards Documentation Standard. The standards development and ratification framework is provided by the TDWG Process.

Becoming involved

The interest group welcomes the participation of individuals who have a vested interest in maintaining, improving, and advocating TCS. We need experts in biological taxonomy and nomenclature, data managers and developers who deal with taxonomic and nomenclatural data, people who have an interest and experience in creation of vocabularies, as well as people who are in the interface between taxonomy or nomenclature and data management. If you are interested in participating in the group, please contact the convener or a core member.


History and context

The Taxon Concept Schema (TCS) emerged from combining two parallel efforts, including “LinneanCore” for a standard focused on taxonomic names, and a separate effort more focused on taxonomic concepts, under the then TDWG Name Standard Committee, later established as the Taxon Names and Concepts subgroup of TDWG. The schema was ratified at TDWG 2005 and released as TCS v1.01 (see also Despite direct contributions to the standard from many groups ( including Vegbank, Taxonomer, SEEK, Berlin Model, GBIF, Nomencurator, Species 2000, ITIS, IPNI, APNI, Avibase, eBird, and others), TCS 1 has never enjoyed high utilisation, as rapid technological changes and changes in the domain made the format less suitable for data exchange. Therefore, at a workshop at TDWG 2018, it was decided that the Taxon Names and Concepts interest group (TNC) should undertake a major revision of TCS. In July 2020 the TNC proposed to become the interest group that is responsible for the maintenance of TCS and to change its name to Taxon Concept Schema maintenance group.

Task groups