Skip to content
Branch: master
Find file History
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.

Access to Biological Collection Data Extended for Geosciences (ABCDEFG)

The ABCD Extension EFG (Extension for Geoscience) is a set of terms designed to represent earth science collection items.

  • Download: xsd
  • Status: Under ratification by TDWG
  • Category: Technical specification
  • List of Terms:
  • TDWG task group: Extension to Geosciences Task Group, Charter
  • Date: July 2005: first draft; September 2007: last modified; March 2017: submitted for ratification; December 2018: under revision


The Access to Biological Collections Data (ABCD) schema is designed to facilitate the exchange of biological collection units, including living and preserved specimen, along with field observation data. It was ratified as a standard by TDWG in 2005. However, the natural history collections typically include also non-biological geoscientific items. Therefore, the Extension for Geosciences (EFG) extends the ABCD schema to integrate geological data, including information about paleontological and geological collection items. Its elaboration started in the framework of the EU-funded project SYNTHESYS and was accompanied with the development of the Geoscientific Collection Access Service (GeoCASe) portal. The aim is to provide a standard for petrological, mineralogical, and paleontological collection data in order to facilitate their exchange and publication.


Charles Copp, Markus Döring, Herman Goethals, Lutz Hecht, Jörg Holetschek, Robert Huber, Ken Johnson, Wolfgang Kiessling, Jens Klump, David Lazarus, Heike Mewis, Evgeniy Meyke, Mietta Petronio, Milena Pika-Biolzi, Willem Renema, Adrian Rissoné, Ralf-Thomas Schmitt, Dave Smith, Fedor Steeman

Recommended Citation

Current citation: Kiessling, Wolfgang; Petersen, Mareike, Glöckler, Falko; Hoffmann, Jana; & Döring, Markus (2017): Access to Biological Collection Data Extended for Geosciences (ABCDEFG) Original Citation: Kiessling, Wolfgang; Rissoné, Adrian; Copp, Charles; Döring, Markus & Mewis, Heike (2006): The EFG extension to the ABCD schema


The existing schema Access to Biological Collection Data (ABCD) has been extended in order to cover the different earth science disciplines, widespread in large museum collections. The resulting Extension for Geosciences (EFG) schema is very granular and allows a detailed description of geoscientific objects. It comprises a broad range of properties regarding geological and geomorphological observations; geological specimens and their preparations; paleontological, mineral, rock and sediment specimens; anomalous items (e.g. glacial erratics, transported assemblages); stratigraphic and absolute dates; measured stratigraphic sections and borehole logs; identifications (extended to cover rock and mineral classifications, varietal names etc.), analyses (techniques and results e.g. chemical composition of minerals, petrological analysis of rock); integrated description of the host rock as part of a unit record (e.g. mineralisation and alteration of ammonite specimen). The Development of the ABCDEFG schema for earth science started in 2005. In the framework of the EU-funded project SYNTHESYS the Geosciences Collection Access Service (GeoCASe,, lead Museum für Naturkunde Berlin) and a first data model for geoscience was developed to make earth science collection databases openly and universally available on the internet. GeoCASe built on and extended the developments for the mobilization of data related to biological collection objects in the BioCASE project (The Biological Collection Access Service for Europe, EU-funded from 2001-2004). A team of 19 scientists and curators from several European institutions specified their requirements in two workshops (2005, 2007) and provided the basis for the first version of the schema.

Further reading

Petersen, Mareike; Glöckler, Falko; Kiessling, Wolfgang; Döring, Markus; Fichtmüller, David; Laphakorn, Lertsutham; Baltruschat, Brian and Hoffmann, Jana (2018): History and development of ABCDEFG: a data standard for geosciences. Fossil Record, (21): 47-53, pdf

You can’t perform that action at this time.