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.

technical specification current standard 2009
Image by Alex Guillaume

Header section

Title
Darwin Core
Permanent IRI (for citations and links)
http://www.tdwg.org/standards/450
Publisher
Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Ratified
2009-10-09
Status
Current standard
Category
Technical specification
Abstract
Darwin Core is a standard maintained by the Darwin Core maintenance group. It includes a glossary of terms (in other contexts these might be called properties, elements, fields, columns, attributes, or concepts) 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.
Bibliographic citation

Darwin Core Task Group. 2009. Darwin Core. Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) http://www.tdwg.org/standards/450

Maintenance group

Modifications and enhancements to Darwin Core are managed by the Darwin Core Maintenance Group.

The best way to be involved is to create an account on GitHub, and "watch" the Darwin Core GitHub repository, as well as the Darwin Core Questions & Answers repository, and respond to requests for comments or "issues" (Darwin Core issues and Darwin Core QA issues). Information about how to suggest changes to the standard can be found at the Guidelines for Contributing page.

Scope of Darwin Core

What is in scope?

  • Collections of any kind of biological objects or data.
  • Terminology associated with biological collection data.
  • Striving for compatibility with other biodiversity-related standards.
  • Facilitating the addition of components and attributes of biological data.

What is not in scope?

  • Data interchange protocols.
  • Non-biodiversity-related data.
  • Purely taxonomic data.

Audience

  • Biodiversity data holders (organizations, institutions, researchers).
  • Consumers of biodiversity data.
  • Developers of collections management systems.
  • Other TDWG interest and task groups.
  • Protocol developers (TAPIR).
  • Biodiversity network developers.

Contributors

List of contributors

Resources

Parts of the standard

This standard is comprised of 5 vocabularies and 11 documents.

Vocabularies:

Darwin Core main vocabulary (http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/) establishmentMeans controlled vocabulary (http://rs.tdwg.org/dwcem/) degreeOfEstablishment controlled vocabulary (http://rs.tdwg.org/dwcdoe/) pathway controlled vocabulary (http://rs.tdwg.org/dwcpw/) Darwin Core Chronometric Age Extension vocabulary (http://rs.tdwg.org/chrono/)

Documents:

Title: Darwin Core RDF Guide
Permanent IRI: http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/guides/rdf/
Created: 2015-06-02
Last modified: 2015-06-02
Contributors:
Steve Baskauf (lead author) - TDWG RDF/OWL Task Group
John Wieczorek (author) - TDWG Darwin Core Task Group
John Deck (author) - Genomic Biodiversity Working Group
Campbell Webb (author) - TDWG RDF/OWL Task Group
Paul J. Morris (author) - Harvard University Herbaria/Museum of Comparative Zoölogy
Mark Schildhauer (author) - National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Publisher: Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Abstract: This guide is intended to facilitate the use of Darwin Core terms in the Resource Description Framework (RDF). It explains basic features of RDF and provides details of how to expose data in the form of RDF using Darwin Core terms and terms from other key vocabularies. It defines terms in the namespace http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/iri/ which are intended for use excusively with non-literal objects.
Citation: Darwin Core and RDF/OWL Task Groups. 2015. Darwin Core RDF Guide. Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG). http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/guides/rdf/

Title: Darwin Core Text Guide
Permanent IRI: http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/guides/text/
Created: 2014-11-08
Last modified: 2021-07-15
Contributors:
Tim Robertson (lead author) - Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Markus Döring (author) - Global Biodiversity Information Facility
John Wieczorek (author) - Darwin Core Maintenance Group
Renato De Giovanni (author) - Centro de Referência em Informação Ambiental
Dave Vieglais (author) - KU Natural History Museum
Steve Baskauf (author) - Darwin Core Maintenance Group
Gail E. Kampmeier (review manager) - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Publisher: Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Abstract: This document provides guidelines for implementing Darwin Core in Text files.
Citation: Darwin Core Task Group. 2014. Darwin Core Text Guide. Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG). http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/guides/text/

Title: Darwin Core XML Guide
Permanent IRI: http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/guides/xml/
Created: 2014-11-08
Last modified: 2014-11-08
Contributors:
John Wieczorek (lead author) - Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley
Markus Döring (author) - Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Renato De Giovanni (author) - Centro de Referência em Informação Ambiental
Tim Robertson (author) - Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Dave Vieglais (author) - KU Natural History Museum
Gail E. Kampmeier (review manager) - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Publisher: Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Abstract: This document provides guidelines for the implementation of Darwin Core in XML.
Citation: Darwin Core Task Group. 2014. Darwin Core XML Guide. Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG). http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/guides/xml/

Title: Simple Darwin Core
Permanent IRI: http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/simple/
Created: 2014-11-08
Last modified: 2014-11-08
Contributors:
John Wieczorek (lead author) - Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley
Markus Döring (author) - Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Renato De Giovanni (author) - Centro de Referência em Informação Ambiental
Tim Robertson (author) - Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Dave Vieglais (author) - KU Natural History Museum
Gail E. Kampmeier (review manager) - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Publisher: Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Abstract: This document is a reference for the Simple Darwin Core standard, a mechanism used to share biodiversity information using the simplest methods and structure.
Citation: Darwin Core Task Group. 2014. Simple Darwin Core. Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG). http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/simple/

Title: Darwin Core Namespace Policy
Permanent IRI: http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/namespace/
Created: 2014-11-08
Last modified: 2014-11-08
Contributors:
John Wieczorek (lead author) - Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley
Markus Döring (author) - Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Renato De Giovanni (author) - Centro de Referência em Informação Ambiental
Tim Robertson (author) - Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Dave Vieglais (author) - KU Natural History Museum
Gail E. Kampmeier (review manager) - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Publisher: Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Abstract: All terms in the Darwin Core must be assigned a unique Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). For convenience, the term URIs that are assigned and managed by the Darwin Core Task Group are grouped into collections known as Darwin Core namespaces. This document describes how term URIs are allocated by the Darwin Core Task Group and the policies associated with Darwin Core namespaces.
Citation: Darwin Core Task Group. 2014. Darwin Core Namespace Policy. Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG). http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/namespace/

Title: Darwin Core List of Terms
Permanent IRI: http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/doc/list/
Created: 2020-08-12
Last modified: 2021-07-15
Contributors:
John Wieczorek (contributor) - VertNet
Peter Desmet (contributor) - Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO)
Steve Baskauf (contributor) - Vanderbilt University Libraries
Tim Robertson (contributor) - Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Markus Döring (contributor) - Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Quentin Groom (contributor) - Botanic Garden Meise
Stijn Van Hoey (contributor) - Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO)
David Bloom (contributor) - VertNet
Paula Zermoglio (contributor) - VertNet
Robert Guralnick (contributor) - University of Florida
John Deck (contributor) - Genomic Biodiversity Working Group
Gail Kampmeier (contributor) - Illinois Natural History Survey
Dave Vieglais (contributor) - KU Natural History Museum
Renato De Giovanni (contributor) - Centro de Referência em Informação Ambiental
Campbell Webb (contributor) - TDWG RDF/OWL Task Group
Paul J. Morris (contributor) - Harvard University Herbaria/Museum of Comparative Zoölogy
Mark Schildhauer (contributor) - National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Publisher: Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Abstract: Darwin Core is a vocabulary standard for transmitting information about biodiversity. This document lists all terms in namespaces currently used in the vocabulary.
Citation: Darwin Core Maintenance Group. 2021. List of Darwin Core terms. Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG). http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/doc/list/2021-07-15

Title: Degree of Establishment Controlled Vocabulary List of Terms
Permanent IRI: http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/doc/doe/
Created: 2020-10-13
Last modified: 2021-09-01
Contributors:
Quentin Groom (lead author) - Botanic Garden Meise
Peter Desmet (contributor) - Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO)
Lien Reyserhove (contributor) - Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO)
Tim Adriaens (contributor) - Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO)
Damiano Oldoni (contributor) - Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO)
Sonia Vanderhoeven (contributor) - Belgian Biodiversity Platform
Steven J Baskauf (contributor) - Vanderbilt University Libraries
Arthur Chapman (contributor) - Australian Biodiversity Information Services
Melodie McGeoch (contributor) - McGeoch Research Group
Ramona Walls (contributor) - University of Arizona
John Wieczorek (contributor) - VertNet
John R.U. Wilson (contributor) - South African National Biodiversity Institute
Paula F F Zermoglio (contributor) - VertNet
Annie Simpson (contributor) - U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher: Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Abstract: The Darwin Core term degreeOfEstablishment provides information about degree to which an Organism survives, reproduces, and expands its range at the given place and time.. The Degree of Establishment Controlled Vocabulary provides terms that should be used as values for dwc:degreeOfEstablishment and dwciri:degreeOfEstablishment.
Citation: Darwin Core Maintenance Group. 2020. Degree of Establishment Controlled Vocabulary List of Terms. Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG). http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/doc/doe/2020-10-13

Title: Establishment Means Controlled Vocabulary List of Terms
Permanent IRI: http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/doc/em/
Created: 2020-10-13
Last modified: 2021-09-01
Contributors:
Quentin Groom (lead author) - Botanic Garden Meise
Peter Desmet (contributor) - Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO)
Lien Reyserhove (contributor) - Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO)
Tim Adriaens (contributor) - Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO)
Damiano Oldoni (contributor) - Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO)
Sonia Vanderhoeven (contributor) - Belgian Biodiversity Platform
Steven J Baskauf (contributor) - Vanderbilt University Libraries
Arthur Chapman (contributor) - Australian Biodiversity Information Services
Melodie McGeoch (contributor) - McGeoch Research Group
Ramona Walls (contributor) - University of Arizona
John Wieczorek (contributor) - VertNet
John R.U. Wilson (contributor) - South African National Biodiversity Institute
Paula F F Zermoglio (contributor) - VertNet
Annie Simpson (contributor) - U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher: Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Abstract: The Darwin Core term establishmentMeans provides information about whether an organism or organisms have been introduced to a given place and time through the direct or indirect activity of modern humans. The Establishment Means Controlled Vocabulary provides terms that should be used as values for dwc:establishmentMeans and dwciri:establishmentMeans.
Citation: Darwin Core Maintenance Group. 2020. Establishment Means Controlled Vocabulary List of Terms. Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG). http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/doc/em/2020-10-13

Title: Pathway Controlled Vocabulary List of Terms
Permanent IRI: http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/doc/pw/
Created: 2020-10-13
Last modified: 2021-09-01
Contributors:
Quentin Groom (lead author) - Botanic Garden Meise
Peter Desmet (contributor) - Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO)
Lien Reyserhove (contributor) - Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO)
Tim Adriaens (contributor) - Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO)
Damiano Oldoni (contributor) - Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO)
Sonia Vanderhoeven (contributor) - Belgian Biodiversity Platform
Steven J Baskauf (contributor) - Vanderbilt University Libraries
Arthur Chapman (contributor) - Australian Biodiversity Information Services
Melodie McGeoch (contributor) - McGeoch Research Group
Ramona Walls (contributor) - University of Arizona
John Wieczorek (contributor) - VertNet
John R.U. Wilson (contributor) - South African National Biodiversity Institute
Paula F F Zermoglio (contributor) - VertNet
Annie Simpson (contributor) - U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher: Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Abstract: The Darwin Core term pathway provides information about the process by which an Organism came to be in a given place at a given time. The Pathway Controlled Vocabulary provides terms that should be used as values for dwc:pathway and dwciri:pathway.
Citation: Darwin Core Maintenance Group. 2020. Pathway Controlled Vocabulary List of Terms. Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG). http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/doc/pw//2020-10-13

Title: Chronometric Age Vocabulary List of Terms
Permanent IRI: http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/doc/chrono/
Created: 2021-04-27
Last modified: 2021-04-27
Contributors:
John Wieczorek (lead author) - VertNet
Laura Brenskelle (contributor) - University of Florida
Robert Guralnick (contributor) - University of Florida
Kitty Emery (contributor) - University of Florida
Michelle LeFebvre (contributor) - University of Florida
Neill Wallis (contributor) - University of Florida
Steve Baskauf (contributor) - Vanderbilt University Libraries
Marie Elise Lecoq (contributor)
Eric Kansa (contributor) - Harvard University
Sarah Kansa (contributor) - The Alexandria Archive Institute
Denné Reed (contributor) - University of Texas at Austin
Publisher: Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Abstract: The Chronometric Age Vocabulary is a standard for transmitting information about chronometric ages - the processes and results of an assay or other analysis used to determine the age of a MaterialSample. This document lists all terms in namespaces currently used in the vocabulary.
Citation: TDWG Darwin Core Chronometric Age Extension Task Group. 2021. Chronometric Age Vocabulary List of Terms. Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG). http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/doc/chrono/2021-04-27