[tdwg-content] Question about "vocabulary" in Darwin Core Archives assistant

Steve Baskauf steve.baskauf at vanderbilt.edu
Fri Apr 29 22:21:41 CEST 2011

I am playing around with Darwin Core Arcives, in particular the DwC-A 
Assistant (http://tools.gbif.org/dwca-assistant/).  One thing that I am 
not exactly clear about is how to use the "Vocabulary" column in the 
assistant.  The description that comes up when you mouse over the column 
heading says that it should ideally be a URI that identifies the 
vocabulary and resolves to some machine readable form like RDF.  So what 
I'm wondering is whether I can put what effectively amounts to as a 
namespace in that spot. 

For example, a URI for the name "Acer rubrum L." that actually resolves 
to RDF is:
I think that would qualify as a valid HTTP URI guid because it's the 
proxied form of an LSID.  So I would like to use it as a value for the 
dwc:scientificNameID column in a DwC-A taxon record.  However, the only 
part of the identifier that makes the string unique within uBio's domain 
is the last number - if I'm always using a uBio guid, the first 
approximately 75 characters will be the same for all of the guids.  So 
can I just put 
in the Vocabulary column and then just put the locally unique numbers 
(e.g. "456216") in the column for dwc:scientificNameID?  Should an 
application using a DwC-A file be smart enough to append the 
"vocabulary" string on the front of the actual value in the text file?  
Or is that not how the "Vocabulary" column is intended to be used?


Steven J. Baskauf, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer
Vanderbilt University Dept. of Biological Sciences

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