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

David Remsen (GBIF) dremsen at gbif.org
Mon May 2 09:51:52 CEST 2011

Hi Steve,

There is a way to do what you ask but not exactly the way you specified.

The way to do is via a template that refers to a particular column.  
So if you put the ubio integer ID into dwc:scientificName you could could put the following into, for example, dc:source


as the default and set the column to a global.

You can see more in this document on the XML Descriptor file.


The vocabularies option was, as far as I know, intended to provide a URI for a vocabulary so that we might be able to validate values against the vocabulary items.


David Remsen, Senior Programme Officer
Electronic Catalog of Names of Known Organisms
Global Biodiversity Information Facility Secretariat
Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Tel: +45-35321472   Fax: +45-35321480
Mobile +45 28751472
Skype: dremsen

On 29 Apr 2011, at 22:21, Steve Baskauf wrote:

> 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:
> http://www.ubio.org/authority/metadata.php?lsid=urn:lsid:ubio.org:namebank:456216
> 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 
> "http://www.ubio.org/authority/metadata.php?lsid=urn:lsid:ubio.org:namebank:" 
> 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?
> Steve
> -- 
> Steven J. Baskauf, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer
> Vanderbilt University Dept. of Biological Sciences
> postal mail address:
> VU Station B 351634
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