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---
title: Vocabulary Maintenance Standard (VMS)
summary: The TDWG Vocabulary Maintenance Standard consists of a single document: the [Vocabulary Maintenance Specification](https://github.com/tdwg/vocab/blob/master/vms/maintenance-specification.md). That document describes the processes used to modify TDWG vocabularies and their associated documents.
cover_image: https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1502911679107-2b54f5c0292c
cover_image_by: Igor Ovsyannykov
cover_image_ref: https://unsplash.com/photos/VkFhaQHVcE4
tags: best practice, current standard, 2017
github: https://github.com/tdwg/vocab/tree/master/vms
---

Header section

Title : Vocabulary Maintenance Standard

Date ratified : 2017-04-25

Status : Current standard

Category : Best current practice

Permanent IRI : http://www.tdwg.org/standards/642

Abstract : The TDWG Vocabulary Maintenance Standard consists of a single document: the Vocabulary Maintenance Specification. That document describes the processes used to modify TDWG vocabularies and their associated documents.

Contributors : Steve Baskauf (TDWG Vocabulary Maintenance Specification Task Group), John Wieczorek (TDWG Darwin Core Interest Group), Stan Blum (TDWG Process Interest Group), Robert A. Morris (UMASS-Boston, TDWG Imaging Interest Group), Jonathan Rees (Duke University), Joel Sachs (TDWG RDF Task Group), Greg Whitbread (TDWG Technical Architecture Group). Review manager: Dag Endresen (GBIF Norway/NHM University of Oslo)

Creator : Vocabulary Maintenance Specification Task Group, Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)

Bibliographic citation : > Vocabulary Maintenance Specification Task Group (2017) Vocabulary Maintenance Standard (Endresen D, review manager). Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) http://www.tdwg.org/standards/642

Introduction

TDWG vocabularies are a collection of standardized terms and their definitions. Vocabulary standards differ from other Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) standards in that they are likely to change more often over time as they evolve to meet the changing needs of the biodiversity informatics community. These changes may be incremental, making it impractical to apply the full TDWG standards process to every change. The TDWG Vocabulary Maintenance Specification details the categories of changes that can be made to a TDWG vocabulary standard, the mechanisms used to achieve those changes, and the entities that are responsible for shepherding those changes through the process.

Audience

This standard is intended for those who are involved in making changes to TDWG vocabulary standards. That includes those who want to submit change proposals and members of Interest Groups who are responsible for vocabulary maintenance.

Parts of the standard

The TDWG Vocabulary Maintenance Standard is described by a single document, the Vocabulary Maintenance Specification.