Darwin Core maintenance proposals and webinars

Public review of Darwin Core maintenance proposals ends

The initial 30-day Darwin Core review (with a one-day bonus) is now over. The Darwin Core Maintenance Group has reviewed the feedback on proposals that were under consideration and believes consensus has been achieved on 30 issues, which will now be put forward for ratification.

Ten issues remain controversial. Of these, six have been recommended to go to Task Groups for resolution (occurrenceStatus, occurrenceStatus controlled vocabulary, preparations, disposition, associatedSequences, biome). The other four contentious issues (individualCount, verbatimLabel, identificationQualifier, subgenus) will remain open under public review for another 30 days in pursuit of consensus so as not to lose any momentum. None of these ten issues will be included in the release resulting from this public review, which will proceed with the changes embodied in the aforementioned 30 resolved issues.

Preparations are now under way for a release candidate to be presented to the TDWG Executive Committee for approval with the assistance of the Technical Architecture Group. Once presented, the Executive Committee has 30 days to ratify all, part, or none of the proposed release.

Two webinars on the evolution of biodiversity information standards

Darwin Core is a commonly-used standard for sharing biodiversity information, maintained by the Darwin Core Maintenance Group of Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG). The Maintenance Group monitors community interest in enhancements to the standard and periodically conducts public reviews of coordinated sets of changes. Changes may consist of the addition of new terms, changes to existing terms, and improvements in documentation about how to use the standard. Proposals are generated and discussed as issues in the Darwin Core GitHub repository.

In order to promote a better understanding of the process of evolution of the Darwin Core standard, TDWG and the Darwin Core Hour Team are offering two webinars. The first will focus on the recent Darwin Core public review, with explanations of how the review was conducted, the distinctions between the types of proposals, a summary of results, and explanations of what happens next. The second webinar will go into the broader topics of standards development and maintenance, covering topics such as the chartering of Task Groups to affect change, with particular emphasis of the essential role of and opportunities for people in the community to make the standards they use ever more relevant and useful.

Webinar 1: Darwin Core - a (public) review

An all-important step in TDWG’s standard maintenance process is the public review. Periodically, the community is asked to assess proposals for enhancements to a standard that have arisen from community driven needs and effort to resolve them. In this session we will focus on the most recent and uncharacteristically large public review of 40 proposals, highlighting selected examples from among them to show how the change process works in practice, summarizing the overall results of the review and the current disposition of the proposals involved. After a presentation, the webinar will be open for questions and discussion about the process and the proposals. This webinar is a co-production of the Darwin Core Hour and TDWG Outreach and Communication Subcommittee. This webinar will be offered twice (1a, 1b) to accommodate our global audience.

Note: registration is free, but you must register to participate via Zoom. Logins will be limited to 100. Session will be live-streamed to YouTube for overflow (observers can submit questions via Google Doc). Links will be posted here closer to the event.

Presenter: John Wieczorek

Support: The Darwin Core Maintenance Group (Steve Baskauf, Peter Desmet, Markus Döring, Tim Robertson, Paula Zermoglio) & Rich Pyle

Event Date-Time Registration Link
1a 22 June 2021 16:00 UTC (show in local time) Register
1b 23 June 2021 00:00 UTC (show in local time) Register

Webinar 2

A second Darwin Core Hour (webinar) will be conducted in mid/late August. The current plan is to discuss the process of standards maintenance more generally, and to highlight opportunities to participate. Further details coming soon!