The Taxonomic Databases Working Group (TDWG
) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF
) have received funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF
) to review requirements for globally unique identifiers (GUIDs) for biodiversity informatics, and to establish infrastructure to support their use.
This review will consider the use of GUIDs across a wide range of application areas and for the benefit of all communities exchanging biodiversity data. TDWG and GBIF are therefore seeking input from any institutions holding or using data relating to organismal biodiversity (including, but not limited to: natural history museums, herbaria, culture collections, gene banks, zoological and botanical gardens, and biological monitoring projects).
TDWG and GBIF recognise a particular and urgent need for GUIDs to improve exchange of data relating to the following:
- Biological collections
- Taxon concepts
- Taxonomic publications
GUIDs are also likely to prove important for other data items, such as biological images, morphological characters, field observations and ecological experiments. Such areas will therefore also be considered to ensure that the proposed models and infrastructure are appropriate for wider use. See GUIDUseCases
for examples of how GUIDs may be useful within biodiversity informatics.
Recent discussions have centred on two possible GUID technologies:
Other potential technologies include Handle
s (which underlie the implementation of DOI
s). This review is however also open to considering any suitable alternative. As far as is appropriate, the aim is to establish a common identifier framework for use throughout biodiversity informatics, but a flexible approach may be adopted if some classes of data (e.g. publications) are already supported by suitable models.
The following additional technologies have been suggested during the course of this review: