Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN) Data Standard

The GGBN Data Standard is a set of vocabularies designed to represent tissue, DNA or RNA samples associated to voucher specimens, tissue samples and collections. It does not cover e.g. scientific name, geography or physiological facts and is intended to be used with Darwin Core or ABCD. The GGBN Data Standard incorporates all molecular terms of MIxS, and can also handle SPREC and large parts of BRISQ.

technical specification draft standard
Image by Lukasz Szmigiel

Header section

Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN) Data Standard specification
Date created
Draft standard
Technical specification
Permanent IRI
DNA extension for Access to Biological Collection Data (ABCDDNA)
Genomic samples of non-model organisms are becoming increasingly important in a broad range of studies from developmental biology, biodiversity analyses, to conservation. Genomic sample definition, description, quality, voucher information and metadata all need to be digitized and disseminated across scientific communities. This information needs to be concise and consistent in today’s ever-increasing bioinformatic era, for complementary data aggregators to easily map databases to one another. In order to facilitate exchange of information on genomic samples and their derived data, the Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN) Data Standard is intended to provide a platform based on a documented agreement to promote the efficient sharing and usage of genomic sample material and associated specimen information in a consistent way. The new data standard presented here build upon existing standards commonly used within the community extending them with the capability to exchange data on tissue, environmental and DNA sample as well as sequences. The GGBN Data Standard will reveal and democratize the hidden contents of biodiversity biobanks, for the convenience of everyone in the wider biobanking community. Technical tools exist for data providers to easily map their databases to the standard.
Gabi Droege, Katharine Barker, Walter G. Berendsohn, Sean Brady, Carol Butler, E. Margaret Casey, Jonathan Coddington, John Deck, David Fichtmüller, Birgit Gemeinholzer, Anton Güntsch, Jörg Holetschek, Tom Hollowell, Patricia Kelbert, Hans-Peter Klenk, Renzo Kottmann, Christopher Lewis, Chris Lyal, Jacqueline Mackenzie-Dodds, Christopher Meyer, Daniel Mulcahy, Éamonn Ó Tuama, Thomas Orrell, Gitte Petersen, Astrid Schories, Ole Seberg, Jamie Whitacre, Pelin Yilmaz, Holger Zetzsche, Yong Zhang, Xin Zhou, Erica Benson, Boyke Bunk, Enrique Arbeláez Cortés, Boyke Bunk, René Dekker, Markus Döring, Sonya Dyhrman, Paul Flemons, Elisabeth Haring, Thomas Knebelsberger, Ivayolo Kostadinov, Rita T. Lawlor, Jon Norenburg, Sara Y. Nussbeck, Michael Raupach, Thomas von Rintelen, Tim Robertson, Larissa Smirnova, Carola Söhngen, Sun Ying, Lee A. Weigt, John Wieczorek, Kenneth Wurdack, Elizabeth Zimmer
Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN)
Bibliographic citation

Droege et al. (2016) The Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN) Data Standard specification. Database.


The GGBN Data Standard is based on ABCDDNA, that has been developed within the DNA Bank Network. The current GGBN Data Standard is a result of further reviews of ABCDDNA done with the Global Genome Biodiversity Network community. The stable version 1.0 of the standard can be found at