Introduction and Specifications
ABCD Schema is a comprehensive XML-based standard for the access to and exchange of natural history collection and observational data. The development of ABCD started in 2001; in 2005 it was ratified as TDWG standard. ABCD allows a detailed, atomized mapping of information about collection specimens and results of observations in the field. Data from any arbitrarily structured database can be mapped using freely available open source software (BioCASe provider software – www.biocase.org). Currently ABCD is used to publish data in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF, www.gbif.org), German Federation for Biological Data (GFBio, www.gfbio.org/), Europeana (www.europeana.eu), etc. The ABCD standard has been extended for the mapping of DNA samples (GGBN, http://terms.tdwg.org/wiki/GGBN_Data_Standard) and mineralogical and paleontological records (EFG, Extended for Geoscience, www.geocase.eu/efg) and is used for their publication in thematic specialized portals (GGBN Portal: http://www.ggbn.org/ggbn_portal/ and GeoCase: www.geocase.eu/).
- ABCD Standard (TWDG)
- ABCD Primer (GitHub)
- Access to Biological Collections Data (ABCD) Schema (Digital Curation Centre)
- BioCASe and ABCD (BGBM Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem)
- History and development of ABCDEFG: a data standard for geosciences (Fossil Record)
- Semantics in Support of Biodiversity Knowledge Discovery: An Introduction to the Biological Collections Ontology and Related Ontologies (PlosOne)
- BioCASe wiki (BGBM Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem)
Mandatory Fields for Europeana
If you plan to submit ABCD(EFG) metadata to Europeana you need to include these mandatory fields in your BioCASe provider:
|(1) fullScientificName||(6) FileURI|
|(2) RecordBasis||(7) ProductURI|
|(3) unitID||(8) Organization Name|
|(4) sourceInstitutionID||(9) LicenseURI ( >> You need to use the URI of one of the |
14 available rights statement listed here (CC0, PDM, CC-BY, CC-BY-SA,
CC-BY-ND, CC-BY-NC, CC-BY-NC-SA, CC-BY-NC-ND, NoC-NC,
NoC-OKLR, InC, InC-EDU, InC-EU-OW, CNE)!
|(5) sourceID||(10) format|
Recommended Fields for Europeana
We recommend that you fill in as many data fields as possible so that your dataset is easier to understand for a wide audience and the public. It is also much easier to link a well-described dataset to other data in the shared portal. Here are some more data fields that we particularly suggest you use.
|(11) KindOfUnit||(18) Age|
|(12) LatitudeDecimal = Using this field will |
enable a map view in Europeana
|(13) LongitudeDecimal = Using this field will |
enable a map view in Europeana
|(14) LocalityText||(21) Gathering-DateTime-DateText|
|(15) Country-Name||(22) Gathering-NamedArea-AreaName|
|(16) Unit-Notes||(23) Gathering-Notes|
|(17) Sex||(24) DataSet-Title|
ABCD and IIIF
If you plan to forward IIIF links of your digital objects to Europeana then please add an additional “Multimedia Object” in your ABCD metadata that carries the manifest in the “FileURI” field and the IIIF Viewer link in the “ProductURI” field.