The Symbiota data schema is strongly aligned to the Darwin Core data exchange standard. For more details, links to the Darwin Core definitions are supplied for each term. Learn more about Darwin Core terms in the following TDWG pages:
Since portals have the ability to customize the field names found on their data entry form, field names may differ from the core field definition and how it is mapped to Darwin Core export tools.
The unique identifier (primary key) for the specimen record. This field should be used to store the barcode or the accession number (herbaria only). This field is enforced to be unique per collection
Ex: WIS-L-0123456, ASU0012345, 12345
See Darwin Core's catalogNumber
Any other identifier for a specimen record that is not the central catalog number. This field is typically used to store the old catalog numbers, accession numbers, National Park identifiers, etc. Identifiers can be assigned a tag name to distinguish it from other identifiers (e.g. old accession #, NPS#, etc). These identifiers map best to dwc:otherCatalogNumbers definition, and thus included in the exports under this field. More information about this system can be found on the Catalog Numbers documentation page.
Ex: 12345, TUZI 3082, NPS Acc #: GUIS-M-00126
See Darwin Core's otherCatalogNumbers
Other collectors that were present at the time of collection.
Ex: John R. Reeder, A. Nelson
This field is not defined by the Darwin Core standard, which places primary and secondary collectors concatenated the recordedBy field.
The date the specimen was collected. While dates can be entered using your preferred format, the value will be converted and stored as an ISO-8601 numeric format (YYYY-MM-DD). Note that unknown month and days can be entered as "00". For example, a collection with a date of "March 1956" can be entered as "1956-03-00".
Ex: 1983-09-15, 1983-07-00, 1934-00-00
See Darwin Core's eventDate
Can be used to record date exactly as entered on label. Particularly useful for non-standard date formats or date ranges.
Ex: Spring 1901, March-April 1952, late Sept. 1909
See Darwin Core's verbatimEventDate
Day of year range: A range of collection dates can be represented here as numeric day of year values. These values will be automatically calculated if you enter a date range in the verbatim date field (e.g. 12 Sept 1968 to 19 Sept 1968, 1968-09-12 to 1968-09-19)
See Darwin Core’s startDayOfYear, endDayOfYear.
The Latin name of the specimen without the author. Could be anything from kingdom down to subspecies or variety, depending on the level of the identification.
Ex: Pinaceae, Pinus, Pinus edulis, Pinus edulis var. fallax
See Darwin Core's scientificName
The determiner's expression of uncertainty in their identification. This will be listed on the label along with the scientific name.
Ex: cf., aff.
See Darwin Core's identificationQualifier
The date the identification was made. Date can be entered as free form text and do not need to be in a standard date format.
Ex: 1992, May 1992, 2 May 1992
See Darwin Core's dateIdentified
The name of the country in which the specimen was collected. To aid data entry, a drop down menu will appear as one types, though names outside of the list can still be entered.
Ex: USA, Canada, Mexico
See Darwin Core's country
The name of the state or province in which the specimen was collected. As one types, a selection list will appear for the given country.
Ex: New York, Arizona, Sonora
See Darwin Core's stateProvince
The name of the county in which the specimen was collected. Choose one from the drop down menu. For specimens collected outside of the United States, enter the next geographic region below state/province.
See Darwin Core's county
The name of the municipality in which the specimen was collected. For specimens collected outside of the United States, enter the 4th level geographic designation.
Ex: Paradise Valley
See Darwin Core's municipality
An identifier for the set of location information (data associated with dcterms:Location). May be a global unique identifier or an identifier specific to the dataset.
See Darwin Core's locationID
Locality Security: Checking the Locality Security checkbox will hide locality details below the level of county from unauthorized users. This is typically done because the species is rare or threatened. Images are also hidden to protect locality details that might be viewable from the label. Users that are logged into the system and have the necessary permission to view locality details (e.g. collection managers) will continue to have access to all data. This box will automatically be checked if the species name is on any of the rare species lists (see sitemap). If one wishes to lock protection (on or off), click the Lock Security checkbox and/or enter a reason for security override in the text field. Leaving the locality security unlocked will allow default settings to be applied as determined by the sensitive species administrators, which is the recommendation for most records.
For more information on sensitive species protection, see the page on Sensitive Species Protection.
This field is not defined by the Darwin Core standard.
Latitude and Longitude (decimal format):
The geographic latitude and longitude in decimal degrees. Latitudes from the southern hemisphere and longitudes in the western hemisphere (e.g. USA) should be entered as negative values. Click on the "Tools" button to enter the coordinates in the degree, minute, seconds (DMS) or the UTM formats. Decimal degrees are the preferred coordinate standard as defined by Darwin Core. See below for more information on using this tool.
Ex: 34.874022, -111.75774
See Darwin Core's decimalLatitude
The accuracy of the georeference coordinates in meters (numeric value only). This is measured as the radius of a circle where the true point would be found if known. If coordinates are collected using a GPS, than the accuracy would be the error found within the GPS unit (usually around 10m). While previously collected specimens that have coordinates on the label recorded by the collector typically do not state the source of the coordinates (GPS, map, etc), it is typically a good assumption that the coordinates are accurate within one to two hundred meters. If the locality details are vague such as just "Grand Canyon", then the coordinates should be the centroid within the uncertainty encompassing the greater area where the specimen may have been collected. If the locality is "Boynton Canyon, Sedona", the uncertainty would be about 1500 m. This field autofills when using GeoLocate for georeferencing.
Ex: 42000 for Phoenix, 20000 for Salt Lake City
See Darwin Core's coordinateUncertaintyInMeters
The geographic system that was used to get the coordinates. This field autofills when using [http://www.museum.tulane.edu/geolocate/|GeoLocate] or the Google Maps tool for georeferencing.
Ex: NAD27, NAD83, WGS84
See Darwin Core's geodeticDatum
Verbatim Coordinates: If the coordinates recorded on the specimen label are in a format other than decimal degrees, enter them here. When decimal lat/long fields are blank and one enters UTM or DMS using one of the formats displayed in the example below, decimal lat/long values will be automatically generated. Click the “<<” symbol to replace existing decimal values. This field autofills when using the DMS, UTM, and TRS georeferencing tools.
Ex: 34° 13.940' N 112° 2.370' W, 34d 13m 12.940s N 112d 20m 46.370s W, 12 420944E 4064025N, TRS: T40N R32E S29
See Darwin Core’s verbatimCoordinates.
Elevation in Meters:
The elevation in meters at which the specimen was collected. Also called altitude. Use only the left field with the right field blank when a single elevation exists.
Ex: 1400, 2000-2200
See Darwin Core's minimumElevationInMeters
Verbatim Elevation: The verbatim elevation at which the specimen was collected. This is typically used to record an elevation measurement that was recorded in feet or an uncertainty designation. When the elevation in meters field is left blank, the value will automatically be converted to meters. Click the “<<” symbol to replace the previously entered meters values.
Ex: 4500ft, 4500 feet, ca 4500', ca 2000m, 4500' +-300'
See Darwin Core’s verbatimElevation.
The original verbatim description of the depth below the local surface at which the specimen was collected.
Ex: 100ft, 100 feet, ca 100', ca 30m, 100' +-10'
See Darwin Core's verbatimDepth
The name of the person who georeferenced the specimen record. This field autofills when using GeoLocate for georeferencing.
Ex: A. Gonzales, emakings, acbarber
See Darwin Core's georeferencedBy
The substrate on which the specimen was collected. Mostly used for lichen and bryophyte specimens.
Ex: On basalt, trunk of oak
Darwin Core lumps this information into habitat.
A physical description of the specimen at the time of collection. This often includes information that can be lost or difficult to observe after the collection and preservation process.
Ex: Shrub 3 m tall, corolla yellow
A list of additional measurements, facts, characteristics, or assertions about the specimen in a format that allows programmatic parsing of the data. See the Darwin Core link below for further details.
Ex: awnLengthInMeters=0.014, heightInMeters=1.5, relativeHumidity=28, airTemperatureInC=22
See Darwin Core's dynamicProperties
The names and references to methods used to collect or sample an occurrence
Ex: UV light trap, mist net, Takats et al. 2001. Guidelines for Nocturnal Owl Monitoring in North America. Beaverhill Bird Observatory and Bird Studies Canada, Edmonton, Alberta. 32 pp., http://www.bsc-eoc.org/download/Owl.pdf
See Darwin Core's samplingProtocol
Check when the organism was established with the aid of humans and would not be able to exist on their own. This true/false field enables the ability to filter non-native or naturalized species.
Not currently exported in DwC format.
This is the Global Unique Identification (GUID) for the specimen. This identification code should be stable and uniquely identify the specimen relative to all other specimens within the world.
Ex: 000866d2-c177-4648-a200-ead4007051b9, urn:catalog:UWBM:Bird:89776
See Darwin Core's occurrenceID
The acronym of the owning institution. Only enter a value if the owning institution is different than what was entered when the metadata for the collection institution was added to the portal.
Ex: NPS, Forest Service
See Darwin Core's ownerInstitutionCode
Basis of Record:
The type of record the specimen is classified as. For physical collections, this field defaults to “PreservedSpecimen” (aka herbarium specimen) and for observation projects, the default is “Observation”.
Ex: PreservedSpecimen, LivingSpecimen, Observation
See Darwin Core's basisOfRecord
The status of the digital record. This field is used for internal data management and review. The values used are dictated by the specific workflow of each institution.
Used for printing labels. You can create a label project and print that set of labels after you've entered the data.
Ex: Plants of Sedona 2012
The number of duplicate specimens created. This will dictate the number of labels printed for specimen.
Period: A subdivision of an era that is a shorter interval of geologic time.
Ex: Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Mississippian, Pennsylvanian, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Paleogene, Neogene, Quaternary.
See Darwin Core’s earliestPeriodOrLowestSystem, latestPeriodOrHighestSystem
Epoch: A subdivision of a period that is a shorter interval of geologic time.
Ex: Lower, Middle, Upper Ordovician; Wenlock; Pridoli; Lower, Middle, Upper Devonian; Lower, Middle, Upper Mississippian; Lower, Middle, Upper Pennsylvanian; Cisuralian; Lower, Middle, Upper Jurassic; Lower, Upper Cretaceous; Paleocene; Eocene; Oligocene; Miocene; Pliocene; Pleistocene; Holocene.
The Epoch field is currently being recorded using Series, the chronostratigraphic units.
See Darwin Core’s earliestEpochOrLowestSeries, latestEpochOrHighestSeries
Stage: The chronostratigraphic term given to the succession of rock strata laid down in a single geochronologic age.
Ex: Lochkovian, Emsian, Eifelian, Givetian, Frasnian, Tournaisian, Serpukhovian, Moscovian, Changhsingian, Norian, Oxfordian, Hauterivian, Albian, Maastrichtian, Thanetian, Messinian, etc.
See Darwin Core’s earliestAgeOrLowestStage, latestAgeOrHighestStage
A local name for a stage that was applied to this specimen.
Ex: Ulatsian, Helvetian.
Name of the earliest possible geochronologic eon, era, period, epoch or age, or the lowest chronostratigraphic eonothem, erathem, system, series, or stage attributable to the stratigraphic horizon from which the cataloged specimen was collected.
Ex: Aalenian, Aeronian, Albian, Anisian, Aptian, Aquitanian, Archean, Artinskian, Asselian, Bajocian, Barremian, Bartonian, etc.
Name of the latest possible geochronologic eon, era, period, epoch or age, or the highest chronostratigraphic eonothem, erathem, system, series or stage attributable to the stratigraphic horizon from which the cataloged specimen was collected.
Ex: Aalenian, Aeronian, Albian, Anisian, Aptian, Aquitanian, Archean, Artinskian, Asselian, Bajocian, Barremian, Bartonian, etc.
Field to record the age of specimen/rock in years determined using radioactive decay of isotopes (Carbon-14, argon-argon, potassium-argon, uranium-lead, etc.) and other quantitative dating methods.
Ex: 20 Ma, 75 ka, 10.5 – 12.7 +/- 0.5 Ma, etc.
Field for institutions that arrange collections by geologic time or biostratigraphy. The physical location of a specimen within the collection space.
Ex: Miocene, Wasatchian, Paleocene, Bridgerian, etc.
Name given to collections of fossils of the same age from a single locality or multiple localities within a specific geographic area.
Ex: Chalk Bluffs, Stewart Valley, Bridge Creek, Mazon Creek, etc.
Biostratigraphy (Biozone): The name of the lowest possible geological biostratigraphic zone of the stratigraphic horizon from which the cataloged item was collected.
Ex: “Wa0”, “Uvigerinella sparsicostata Zone”, “Ogygiocaris”
See Darwin Core’s lowestBiostratigraphicZone, highestBiostratigraphicZone
Group: The name of the lithostratigraphic group from which the cataloged specimen was collected. The National Geologic Map Database Geolex Search is a great resource for the named lithostratigraphic units accepted by the USGS.
Ex: Bathurst, Lower Wealden, Monte Cristo, Contra Costa, Panoche, etc.
See Darwin Core’s group
Formation: The name of the lithostratigraphic formation from which the cataloged specimen was collected. The National Geologic Map Database Geolex Search is a great resource for the named lithostratigraphic units accepted by the USGS.
Ex: Notch Peak, House Limestone, Fillmore, Chinle, etc.
See Darwin Core’s formation
Member: The name of the lithostratigraphic member from which the cataloged item was collected. The National Geologic Map Database Geolex Search is a great resource for the named lithostratigraphic units accepted by the USGS.
Ex: Lava Dam, Hellnmaria, Brown Mountain Sandstone
See Darwin Core’s member
Bed: The name of the lithostratigraphic bed from which the cataloged item was collected. The National Geologic Map Database Geolex Search is a great resource for the named lithostratigraphic units accepted by the USGS.
Ex: Harlem coal
See Darwin Core’s bed
The depositional environment of the rock unit from which cataloged specimen was collected.
Ex: marine, lacustrine, non-marine, marine-non-marine
Field for terms to describe the types of rock/sediment from which the cataloged specimen was collected.
Ex: sandstone, mudstone, siltstone, shale, etc.
See Darwin Core's lithostratigraphicTerms
Field to record additional details about the geology, stratigraphy, more detailed lithology description, palynological sampling info, core data, etc.
Field to record type of plant organ cataloged specimen represents.
Ex: stem, strobilus, sterile leaf, fertile leaf, pinnule(s), rooting organ, rootlet, megasporangium, sporangium, spore, sterile axis, fertile axis, root, etc.
Field to record types of prepared slides of specimens, noting the type of preparation and mounting medium, and to provide England Finder coordinates for palynomorph slides.
Ex: strewn, petrographic thin-section, mounted peel
Geological Context ID:
An identifier for the set of information associated with a GeologicalContext (the location within a geological context, such as stratigraphy). May be a global unique identifier or an identifier specific to the data set.
See Darwin Core's geologicalContextID