[tdwg-content] InstitutionCode - InstitutionID

Chuck Miller Chuck.Miller at mobot.org
Tue Jul 3 01:05:38 CEST 2012

In the botanical world of duplicate specimens and gifting of specimens to a specialist in exchange for a determination, a plant specimen can have multiple institutions actually annotated on it and therefore multiple institutionIDs potentially associated with it. Does DwC have a way to distinguish multiple institutionIDs for a specimen - e.g. original collecting institution and current repository institution?


On Jul 2, 2012, at 4:44 PM, "John Wieczorek" <tuco at berkeley.edu> wrote:

> Hi Aaike,
> The institutionID is definitely meant to be a GUID, and as such would
> not likely be of much use within an institutional database, where the
> institutionID would likely be the same for every record. Instead, it
> is meant to identify an institution in a persistent, hopefully
> resolvable way, where resolution would be able to give more
> information about the identified institution.
> Identifiers for institutions do exist. An example is
> urn:lsid:biocol.org:col:34777, the institutionID in the Biodiversity
> Collections Index for the University of California Berkeley Museum of
> Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ), within which there are several collections,
> each with its distinct collectionID, such as
> urn:lsid:biocol.org:col:34818 for the Herpetology Collection at the
> MVZ.
> The IDs are useful to provide the possibility of a link to other
> information that may not be shared in original record. They are also
> useful to distinguish the institutions and collections from each
> other. For example, MVZ is the acronym used for the Institution as a
> whole where the collections are housed, and it is also used
> independently by each of the collections when specimens are cited in
> literature. In other words, the institutionCode (MVZ) is not distinct
> from the collectionCodes (MVZ), and the collectionCodes within the
> institution are not unique (all MVZ). The IDs are meant to overcome
> this and other problems of reference and uniqueness.
> I hope that helps,
> John
> On Mon, Jul 2, 2012 at 7:03 AM, Aaike De Wever
> <aaike.dewever at naturalsciences.be> wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> While composing a template and recommendations for the Darwin Core fields
>> to supply for the BioFresh project
>> <http://www.freshwaterbiodiversity.eu/>, similar to what Peter Desmet did
>> for herbaria in Apple Core <http://code.google.com/p/applecore/>, I came
>> across a number of terms which I haven't yet completely understood and
>> hope to get some feedback on from this community.
>> Two of these terms are:
>> InstitutionCode - InstitutionID
>> http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/institutionCode -
>> http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/institutionID
>> The name (or acronym) in use by the institution having custody of the
>> object(s) or information referred to in the record. / An identifier for
>> the institution having custody of the object(s) or information referred to
>> in the record.
>> I guess that the latter term is supposed to be a DOI/GUID for the
>> institute, but am wondering if there is such a thing or whether this field
>> is rather for internal database purposes?
>> Any advise would be appreciated!
>> With best regards,
>> --
>> Aaike De Wever
>> BioFresh Science Officer
>> Freshwater Laboratory, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
>> Vautierstraat 29, 1000 Brussels
>> Belgium
>> tel.: +32(0)2 627 43 90
>> mobile.: +32(0)486 28 05 93
>> email: <aaike.dewever at naturalsciences.be>
>> skype: aaikew
>> AIM: aaike at mac.com
>> LinkedIn: <http://be.linkedin.com/in/aaikedewever>
>> BioFresh: <http://www.freshwaterbiodiversity.eu/> and
>> <http://data.freshwaterbiodiversity.eu/>
>> Belgian Biodiversity Platform: <http://www.biodiversity.be>
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