Biodiversity Information Science and Standards : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
A Proposed Metadata Standard for Recording and Sharing Attribution Information in Biodiversity
expand article infoAnne E Thessen‡,§,|, David Peter Shorthouse, Deborah Paul#, Michael Conlon¤, Matt Woodburn«, Dimitrios Koureas»,˄, Sarah Ramdeen˅, Laurel L Haak¦, Peter Cornwellˀ
‡ The Data Detektiv, Waltham, MA, United States of America
§ The Ronin Institute for Independent Scholarship, Monclair, NJ, United States of America
| Oregon State University, Corvallis, United States of America
¶ Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Canada
# Florida State University, Tallahassee, United States of America
¤ University of Florida, Gainesville, United States of America
« Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom
» Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, Netherlands
˄ Distributed System of Scientific Collections - DiSSCo, Leiden, Netherlands
˅ Ronin Institute for Independent Scholarship, Montclair, United States of America
¦ ORCID, Bethesda, United States of America
ˀ Data Futures LBG and University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom
Open Access


Research collections are an important tool for understanding the Earth, its systems, and human interaction. Despite the importance of collections, many are not maintained or curated as thoroughly as we would like. Part of the reason for this is the lack of professional reward for collection, curation, or maintenance. To address this gap in attribution metadata, the Research Data Alliance (RDA) and the Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) organization co-endorsed a Working Group to create recommendations for the representation of attribution metadata. After 18 months, this Working Group recommended a very simple data exchange standard to link people, the curatorial actions they perform, and the digital or physical objects they are curating. These recommendations are discussed in the context of community-developed use cases. Future work includes:

  1. exploration of a Darwin Core extension,
  2. best practices on how to best adopt these recommendations, and
  3. possible solutions to help accelerate the process of connecting people and their activities in legacy and future data.

To explore options for making collections work more visible and citable, we tested the use of digital annotation tools and person identifiers in curation workflows.  The results from this pilot project in collaboration with ORCID and Data Futures to display specimens on an ORCID profile will be presented.


attribution, RDA, metadata, curation

Presenting author

Anne E Thessen

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