Extension for Geosciences (EFG)

This task group manages the ABCD “extension for geosciences,” which creates adds vocabularies for concepts used in collections of geoscience specimens.


Image by Justyn Warner


Core Members

  • Jana Hoffmann - Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Germany
  • Anton Güntsch - Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Germany
  • Patricia Mergen - Botanical Garden Meise, Belgium
  • Fabian Reimeier - Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Germany
  • David Fichtmüller - Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Germany
  • Franck Theeten - Africamuseum and RBINS, Belgium


Beside biological objects, fossils, rocks and minerals are common in natural history collections worldwide. However, standards focusing primarily on biological specimens lack terms that are important for geoscientific specimens. Thus the Extension for Geosciences (EFG) was established to extend the ABCD standard with various terms relevant for geoscientific collection objects. This Task Group maintains the schema extension, takes care of the ratification process, and is in charge of any inquiries during the current review.

Goals, outputs and outcomes

The Task Group supports the TDWG ratification process of the EFG schema. We will handle incoming reports during the two-stage review process (directed to reviewers and the public review). Once the validation is completed we will respond to all reviews in detail, incorporate any suggested changes in a revision or explain in detail in case we retain the respective terms or parts of the schema. In the longer term, we expect to adapt the schema for expression as RDF.


To enable a successful ratification of the EFG schema by TDWG, the Task Group will handle incoming inquiries with high priority. In addition we aim to pool the different activities related to earth science in the TDWG Community. This comprises the expertise derived from the Paleobiology Interest Group, relevant Darwin Core extensions and the current developments in the ABCD standard and its extensions.

Becoming involved

This Task Group welcomes anyone who has an interest in the standardized description of fossil, mineralogical, and petrological collection objects and/or experience with geoscientific data standards.

History and context

Development of the Extension for Geoscience (EFG) started in 2005. As a first step towards the definition of a schema for the earth sciences, a team of 11 experts from several European institutions specified the requirements on typical data that describe paleontological and geological collection objects. Building on ABCD, the resulting schema extension was named EFG. After usage in different projects and portals for more than a decade, EFG was recently submitted for ratification by TDWG.


  • Petersen, M., Glöckler, F., Kiessling, W., Döring, M., Fichtmüller, D., Laphakorn, L., Baltruschat, B. & Hoffmann, J. (2018). History and development of ABCDEFG: a data standard for geosciences. Fossil Record, 21(1), 47-53. https://doi.org/10.5194/fr-21-47-2018
  • ABCDEFG XML Schema Definition (XSD), available at https://doi.org/10.7479/pwnr-sh74(Kiessling et al., 2018)