Natural resources

The Access to Biological Collections Data (ABCD) Schema is an evolving comprehensive standard for the access to and exchange of data about specimens and observations (a.k.a. primary biodiversity data). The ABCD Schema attempts to be comprehensive and highly structured, supporting data from a wide variety of databases. It is compatible with several existing data standards. Parallel structures exist so that either (or both) atomised data and free-text can be accommodated.

Sponsored by Biodiversity Information Standards TDWG - the Taxonomic Databases Working Group, the current specification was last modified in 2007.

A body of standards, including a glossary of terms (in other contexts these might be called properties, elements, fields, columns, attributes, or concepts) intended to facilitate the sharing of information about biological diversity by providing reference definitions, examples, and commentaries.

Sponsored by Biodiversity Information Standards (TWDG), the current standard was last modified in October 2009.

Ecological Metadata Language (EML) is a metadata specification particularly developed for the ecology discipline. It is based on prior work done by the Ecological Society of America and associated efforts (Michener et al., 1997, Ecological Applications).

Sponsored by, EML Version 2.1.1 was released in 2011.

Established by a global network of countries and organizations, GBIF is a web portal promoting and facilitating the mobilization, access, discovery and use of biodiversity data. The portal uses a profile of EML; a How-to Guide and Reference Guide for using the profile are available.

A metadata standard for describing environmental monitoring activities, programmes, networks and facilities published by the UK Environmental Observation Framework (UKEOF).

The UKEOF Catalogue contains over 2000 metadata records of environmental observations undertaken and funded by public and third sector organisations.

The Catalogue provides a unique management tool to underpin the activities and requirements of the environmental observation community. It provides a strong basis for strategic planning, giving a holistic overview of environmental observations as well as a place to discover who is doing what, where, why and when.