New terms in Darwin Core

For the first time since its ratification in October 2009, Darwin Core has been revised! But don’t panic: it’s probably not going to affect your data publication.

Darwin Core is a community standard, so anyone can submit ideas, suggestions or corrections via the Darwin Core issue tracker (guidelines to do so can be found here). Minor error corrections can get accepted without peer review, but for more serious changes enough people have to agree (via open commentary and review) before the suggestions are included in the standard. The TDWG Executive Committee has now officially approved a bunch of suggestions (not all) on 16 October 2011 and the standard has been updated in November.

So, what are the most important changes? Well, we have Four Weddings and a Funeral:

4 new terms

The term explanations are mine, specific for specimen data publication. For the official definitions, click on the term.

1 deprecated term

  • occurrenceDetails: This term could only be used for specimens and observations. It has now been replaced by the more general dcterms:references (see above).

This brings the total number of core terms at 159. We have updated our list, please do so as well with your local files or visit the official Darwin Core website.