Structured Descriptive Data (SDD)

The goal of the SDD standard is to allow capture, transport, caching and archiving of descriptive data (data describing a taxon or specimen), using a platform- and application-independent, international standard. Such a standard is crucial to enabling lossless porting of data between existing and future software platforms including identification, data-mining and analysis tools, and federated databases.

technical specification 2005 standard 2005
Image by Biodiversity Heritage Library

Header section

Title
Structured Descriptive Data (SDD)
Permanent IRI (for citations and links)
http://www.tdwg.org/standards/116
Publisher
Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Ratified
2005-09-16
Status
Current (2005) standard
Category
Technical specification
Abstract
In taxonomy, descriptive data takes a number of very different forms. Natural-language descriptions are semi-structured, semi-formalised descriptions of a taxon (or occasionally of an individual specimen). They may be simple, short and written in plain language (if used for a popular field guide), or long, highly formal and using specialised terminology when used in a taxonomic monograph or other treatment. Dichotomous keys are specialised identification tools comprising fragments of descriptive data arranged in couplets forming a branching tree. Each fragment (lead) comprises a small (occasionally verbose) natural-language description. Raw data descriptions usually comprise repeated measurements of parts of individual specimens, and are the basis from which the more abstracted descriptions in natural language and coded descriptions are derived. Few taxonomists consistently record and archive their raw data in a standardised format. The goal of the SDD standard is to allow capture, transport, caching and archiving of descriptive data in all the forms shown above, using a platform- and application-independent, XML-based international standard. Such a standard is crucial to enabling lossless porting of data between existing and future software platforms including identification, data-mining and analysis tools, and federated databases.
Bibliographic citation

Structure of Descriptive Data Subgroup. 2005. Structured Descriptive Data (SDD). Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) http://www.tdwg.org/standards/116

Parts of the standard

This standard is comprised of 2 documents.

Documents:

Title: Introduction and Primer to the Structured Descriptive Data (SDD) Standard
Permanent IRI: http://rs.tdwg.org/sdd/doc/introduction/
Created: 2006-05-11
Last modified: 2006-05-11
Contributors:
Gregor Hagedorn (author) - Julius Kühn Institute
Kevin R. Thiele (author) - Western Australian Herbarium
Robert A. Morris (author) - University of Massachusetts at Boston, USA
P. Bryan Heidorn (author) - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Publisher: Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Abstract: This document is a non-normative introduction to the Taxonomic Databases Working Group SDD (Structure of Descriptive Data) Standard. Its intention is to provide a background, introduction and primer to the SDD Standard, with examples.
Citation: Structure of Descriptive Data (SDD) Subgroup. 2006. Introduction and Primer to the Structured Descriptive Data (SDD) Standard. Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG). http://rs.tdwg.org/sdd/doc/introduction/

Title: Structured Descriptive Data XML Schema
Permanent IRI: http://rs.tdwg.org/sdd/doc/xmlschema/
Created: 2006-05-11
Last modified: 2006-05-11
Contributors:
Gregor Hagedorn (author) - Julius Kühn Institute
Kevin R. Thiele (author) - Western Australian Herbarium
Robert A. Morris (author) - University of Massachusetts at Boston, USA
Publisher: Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Abstract: This is the schema file to be referenced in instance documents for validation. It is the top level schema file that integrates the schema components.
Note: See also https://raw.githack.com/tdwg/sdd/master/2006/rddl.html and https://github.com/tdwg/sdd/blob/master/2006/Schema/1.1/UBIF_(c).xsd
Citation: Structure of Descriptive Data (SDD) Subgroup. 2006. Structured Descriptive Data XML Schema. Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG). http://rs.tdwg.org/sdd/doc/xmlschema/