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Darwin Core extension for germplasm genebanks

July 16, 2012

Darwin Core (DwC) defines a standard set of terms to describe the primary biodiversity data. Primary biodiversity data are data records derived from direct observation of species occurrences in nature or describing specimens in biological collections. The Darwin Core terms can be seen as an extension to the standard Dublin Core metadata terms. The new Darwin Core extension for genebanks declares the additional terms required for describing genebank datasets, and is based on established standards from the plant genetic resources community. The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) provides an information infrastructure for biodiversity data including a suite of software tools for data publishing, distributed data access, and the capture of biodiversity data. The Darwin Core extension for genebanks is a key component that provides access for the genebanks and the plant genetic resources community to the GBIF informatics infrastructure including the new toolkits for data exchange. This paper provides one of the first examples and guidelines for how to create extensions to the Darwin Core standard.
This paper completes the publication of the four manuscripts included in my PhD thesis from last year, The manuscript has completed a major revision and many parts was removed as well as new parts added in this final and published version of the paper. The work described relates to the evaluation of the GBIF Integrated Data Publishing Toolkit (IPT) by the European genebank community during 2010. The Darwin Core extension for germplasm genebanks was a prerequisite for sharing minimum accession level data for genebank datasets using the IPT. Our experiences from designing the DwC germplasm extension are presented with this paper as an example and use case for how to design other DwC extensions. The goal is to provide a useful guideline for other thematic groups to study.
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