Darwin Core is a standard maintained by the [Darwin Core maintenance group](../../community/dwc). 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
Darwin Core website
Title : Darwin Core
Date ratified : 2009-10-09
Status : Current standard
Category : Technical specification
Permanent IRI : http://www.tdwg.org/standards/450
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.
Creator : Darwin Core Task Group, Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Bibliographic citation : > Darwin Core Task Group (2009) Darwin Core (Kampmeier G, review manager). Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) http://www.tdwg.org/standards/450
Parts of the standard
The Darwin Core standard is comprised of one vocabulary, the Darwin Core vocabulary (http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/), and six documents:
- List of Darwin Core terms - a complete list of all terms in namespaces currently used in the vocabulary
- Simple Darwin Core Guide - a guide for sharing information using the simplest methods
- Darwin Core Text Guide - a guide for sharing information using text files
- Darwin Core XML Guide - a guide for constructing application schemas using XML
- Darwin Core RDF Guide - a guide for encoding biodiversity data using the Resource Description Framework (RDF)
- Darwin Core Namespace Policy - an explanation of how URIs for Darwin Core terms should be constructed
An additional document, the Quick Reference Guide is maintained outside the standard and summarizes the currently recommended terms.
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.
- 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.