Ballot on proposed standards (September 2005)

Adrian Rissone a.rissone at NHM.AC.UK
Fri Sep 23 06:18:01 CEST 2005



The following proposed standards were recommended for ratification at the
TDWG Annual Meeting in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, during the week
beginning 11 September 2005. In accordance with the TDWG Constitution and
By-Laws a vote by all members in good standing on final ratification of
each proposed standard is required.

Ballot papers have been sent electronically to all current members in good

If you are a member who is in arrears of current dues but who wishes to
vote in this ballot, please contact Stan Blum (sblum at as
soon as possible to renew. Othewise, your vote may not be counted at the
close of the ballot on 23 October 2005.

If you have any other questions please contact me as soon as possible.


Adrian Rissone
TDWG Secretary

Proposed Standard: ABCD (Access to Biological Collections Data):

The Access to Biological Collections Data (ABCD) Schema 2.0 is a
comprehensive standard for access to and the exchange of data about
specimens and observations (a.k.a. primary biodiversity data). It is based
on information models such as ASC and BioCISE and incorporates many
existing exchange standards. Further information at

Proposed Standard: SDD (Structured Descriptive Data)

Major changes are incorporated in the latest version of SDD:

All object types are derived from abstract base type. ExternalDataInterface
grouping given up, all object types, including SDD ones treated
symmetrically. Multilingual representation was simplified (one level of
nesting less than previous version). The text character facility was
redesigned to be expressed differently in xml, the previous solution was
considered unintuitive. This involves element name and structural changes,
but no essential changes in functionality. The expression of measurement
units was simplified, rather than allowing multiple units within a
character (which required structures to define units and their conversion
methods), only one unit may be defined, which may be accompanied with
different scientific prefix letters (k, c, m, µ) in different descriptions.

Proposed Standard: TCS (Taxonomic Concept Transfer Schema)

The Taxon Concept Schema (TCS) was developed to enable the transfer of
taxonomic name and concept data using an abstract model of taxonomic
concepts which can capture the range of models represented and understood
by the various taxonomic data providers. The model, presented as an XML
schema document, has been through several revisions which have been
presented in different fora and discussed on the tcs-lc at
mailing list and the TCS Wiki at where all
previous versions of the schema can be obtained along with related
documentation. At TDWG 2005 TCS v1.0 was voted to be recommended as a TDWG
standard. Minor issues were discussed and proposals for minor changes to
TCS are being accepted until 30th September at which point TCS v1.0 will be
fixed for the ballot. Discussion on minor changes continues on tcs-lc
mailing list and the final version 1.0 will be posted on the Wiki.

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