ABCD Schema - Task Group on
Access to Biological Collection Data

A joint CODATA and TDWG initiative supported by GBIF

Third Workshop, Indaiatuba, October 18, 2002 

During the TDWG Annual Meeting within the Trends and Develoments in Biodiversity Informatics Forum

Venue: Vitória Hotel, Indaiatuba, Sao Paulo, Brazil 

Attendants: Adrian Rissoné (NHM, London), Akira Sato (SIPCUT, Tsukuba), Andrea Hahn (BGBM, Berlin), Anne Hume (NHM, London), Anton Güntsch (BGBM, Berlin), Charles Hussey (NHM, London), Chris Frazier (INRAM, New Mexico), Dan Kuniarasseril (AMNH, New York), Donald Hobern (GBIF, Copenhagen), Francisco Pando (RJB-CSIC, Madrid), Greg Whitbread (ANH, Canberra), Guy Baillargeon (AAFC, Ottawa), Jim Croft (ANH, Canberra), John Aubry (AMNH, New York), John Wieczorek (MVZ, Berkeley), Karl Glück (BGBM, Berlin), Karl-H. Lampe (ZFMK, Bonn), Larry Speers (GBIF, Copenhagen), Marc Geoffroy (BGBM, Berlin), Mark Jackson (RBG, Kew), Mauro Muñez (CRIA, Campinas), Meg Heimories (UKMHM, Laurence), Neil Thomson (NHM, London), Nicky Nicolson (RBG, Kew), Nicolas Bailly (MNHN, Paris), Nozomi James Ytow (IBSUT, Tsukuba), Paula Huddleston (USDA/ITIS, Fort Collins), P.J. Schwartz (MVZ, Berkeley), Rainer Froese (OBIS, SP2000, Kiel), Reed Beaman (UKNHM, Laurence), Renato de Giovanni (CRIA, Campinas), Ricardo Scachetti Pereira (CRIA, Campinas), Robert Morris (UMASS, Boston), Sabine Roscher (ZADI, Bonn), Stan Blum (CAS, San Francisco), Walter Berendsohn (BGBM, Berlin), Yde de Jong (ZM, Amsterdam).

Apologies received: Alex Chapman, Anna Weitzman, Dave Vieglais, Derek Munro, George Garrity, Kurt Bollacker, Lois Blaine, Rudolf May. 

Meeting Report

[A report of a meeting of the DiGIR project / Protocol Definition Subgroup on the 17th of October will soon be available on the DiGIR website:] 

Data Definition Subgroup

The preceding meeting of the DiGIR project / protocol definition subgroup had come to the conclusion, that the data specification for the query sent to a data provider should be separated from the data specification for a response. This decision was based on the fact that currently no query capability on complex hierarchical schema exist, so that the Access Schema for the time being should be flat. The necessity for a more complex, structured schema for the information output by a data provider (Result Schema) was also recognized. The Access Schema should be mapped into the Result Schema. The schema under discussion by the group would be such a response schema. The Darwin Core used by (e.g.) the DiGIR prototype represents a possible Access Schema as well as a response schema.

The Darwin Core was briefly walked through by Stan Blum and John Wieczorek . There are a few areas which were considered unsatisfactory by the present, particularly: 

Anton Güntsch briefly introduced the approach taken by the ENHSIN project (European Natural History Specimen Information Network) to prepare a prototype for a common access system based entirely on http. The most important feature is the application of "variable atomization", allowing for alternative text representations of highly atomised data items. 

The main part of the morning was reserved by a walk through the "CODATA-TDWG-BioCASE Unit-level Profile". It is based on the draft presented the last workshop, which was extensively revised by a workpackage of the BioCASE project led by Neil Thomson (NHM London). The revision history as well as the current version is available under (see also Neil's introductory Powerpoint presentation). The version discussed by the Workshop is 1.37 and it was generally accepted. Comments made during the workshop and received afterwards will be incorporated into what than will be the Draft ABCD schema 0.9. This will be widely distributed in a request for comment to be sent to relevant mailing lists by the end of the month, for comment until Nov. 30, 2002. In mid-December, a small editorial group will meet to give it the finishing touches. The draft will than be submitted to the TDWG standard process for acceptance as a TDWG standard.  

Walter Berendsohn, Oct. 19, 2002

Afternoon: Protocol Definition Subgroup

A report on this discussion will be made available on the DiGIR website (

Working Group Homepage | TDWG Accessions Subgroup Homepage | CODATA | TDWG 

Page hosted by the Department of Biodiversity Informatics and Laboratories of the Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem. DISCLAIMER  
Page editor: Walter Berendsohn (w.berendsohn [at]

This page last edited on 06.03.2005