Proceedings of TDWG : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
Standards in Action: The Darwin Core Hour
expand article infoDeborah L Paul, Paula F Zermoglio§, John Wieczorek|, Gary J Motz¶,#, Erica Krimmel¤
‡ Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio), Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, United States of America
§ Instituto de Ecología, Genética y Evolución de Buenos Aires (IEGEBA-CONICET), University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
| Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley. CA, United States of America
¶ Center for Biological Research Collections, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, United States of America
# Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, United States of America
¤ Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, United States of America
Open Access


Darwin Core Wieczorek et al. 2012 has become broadly used for biodiversity data sharing since its ratification as a standard in 2009. Despite its popularity, or perhaps because of it, questions about Darwin Core, its definitions, and its applications continue to arise. However, no easy mechanism previously existed for the users of the standard to ask their questions and to have them answered and documented in a strategic and timely way. In order to close this gap, a double-initiative was developed: the Darwin Core Hour (DHC) Darwin Core Hour Team 2017a and the Darwin Core Questions & Answers Site Darwin Core Hour Team 2017b. The Darwin Core Hour Zermoglio et al. 2017 is a webinar series in which particular topics concerning the Darwin Core standard and its use are presented by more experienced and vested community members for the benefit of and discussion amongst the community as a whole. All webinars are recorded for broader accessibility. The Darwin Core Questions & Answers Site is a GitHub repository where questions from the community are submitted as issues, then discussed and answered in the repository as a means of building up documentation. These two instances are tightly linked and feed each other Fig. 1.Questions from the community, some arising during the webinars, turn into issues and are then answered and shaped into documentation, while some questions give birth to new webinar topics for further discussion. So far, this double-initiative model has proved useful in bringing together communities from different geographic locales, levels of expertise, and degrees of involvement in open dialogue for the collaborative evolution of the standard. At the time of this presentation, the group has produced nine webinar sessions and provided a corpus of documentation on several topics. We will discuss its current status, origins and potential of the double-initiative model, community feedback, and future directions, in addition to inviting the TDWG community to join efforts to keep the Darwin Core standard "in action".

Figure 1.

Double-initiative mechanism for community engagement and discussion regarding the Darwin Core standard: Darwin Core Questions & Answers Site and Darwin Core Hour webinar series.


Darwin Core standard, Darwin Core Hour, capacity building, community engagement

Presenting author

Deborah Paul, Paula Zermoglio, John Wieczorek


The authors would like to thank the biodiversity informatics community for their engagement in and contributions to this initiative to date. Work done for this program and as a result of it would not be possible without input from those actively involved in capacity building and standards development in support of biodiversity data mobilization. Our efforts are backed by many communities including iDigBio (funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections Program), VertNet, and SPNHC, among others.


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