Biodiversity Information Science and Standards : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
Diversifying the GBIF Data Model
expand article infoTim Robertson, John R Wieczorek§, Mélianie Raymond
‡ Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Copenhagen, Denmark
§ Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Bariloche, Argentina
Open Access


The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) has been immensely successful in mobilizing a large number of records documenting species occurrence through a global network of data publishers. Today over 2 billion records are available for search and download through the infrastructure, with over 200 million originating in natural science collections or gleaned from citations of specimens in literature. These data are most commonly made available through the TDWG standards Darwin Core and Access to Biological Collections Data (ABCD) with their various extensions.

The growth of the GBIF network has generated new challenges and a desire for GBIF to accommodate more varied types of data (e.g., ecological, eDNA, biological interactions, material samples with subsamples and associated media, taxonomic treatments), acknowledging that biodiversity data are more complex than ‘just’ the occurrence of species in time and space. GBIF has initiated work to explore the diversification of the data model that underpins the datasets connected to GBIF, and the services provided by its infrastructure. During 2021, several case studies were drafted and analyzed to establish a draft common domain model that could satisfy the key aspects of the studies. The cases cover a range of concerns, including automated monitoring, identification through sequencing techniques, biotic interactions, environmental measurements, and improvements to the handling of data representing preserved material. The draft model has been presented publicly several times and is being tested and matured to accommodate real datasets during 2022.

This presentation will summarise the process followed, provide an overview of the cases that have been explored, and show the resulting model. We will describe the ongoing opportunities for community engagement as this work continues. We will provide insight into some of the lessons we have learned and how this research has the potential to help integrate many efforts relating to the use of the Darwin Core-related standards today.


species, standards, biodiversity, evidence, occurrence

Presenting author

John R Wieczorek and Tim Robertson

Presented at

TDWG 2022

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