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This page provides an overview of the most commonly used ABCD elements with short explanations and sample values. If you're looking for a complete list of ABCD elements, please refer to the full documentation at the ABCD Wiki.

Mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk. If you don't provide them, the element - and potentially non-mandatory sibling/parental elements - will be removed from the ABCD document.


Metadata describe the dataset as whole - as opposed to individual specimens.

General metadata

Group Element Example Remark
ContentContact Name* John Doe Contact information for the curator of the dataset.
Address Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin. Königin-Luise-Str. 6-8; 14195 Berlin, Germany
Phone +49 30 838 99999
TechnicalContact Name* John Doe Contact information of the person that is responsible for the BioCASe installation - in most cases, this will be the IT department.
Address Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin. Königin-Luise-Str. 6-8; 14195 Berlin, Germany
Phone +49 30 838 99999
Metadata IconURI Link to an image that represents the dataset.
Metadata/RevisionData DateCreated 2018-07-19 Date when the dataset has been first published (DateCreated) and of the last changes/additions/removals (DateModified).
DateModified* 2018-09-27
Metadata/Version DateIssued 2018-09-27 If you keep track of dataset versions, the info can be specified in this section.
Major* 3
Minor 1
Metadata/Description/Representation Title* Herbarium Berolinense Short description of the dataset (preferrably in english), consisting of a title, a 2-3 sentences long description and an optional URL.
@language* en
Description The herbarium of the Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem (herbarium acronym: B) is ...
Metadata/Owners/Owner Addresses/Address Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin. Königin-Luise-Str. 6-8; 14195 Berlin, Germany Institution that owns the dataset.
TelephoneNumbers/TelephoneNumber +49 30 838 99999
Organisation/Name/Representation/Text* Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem
Organisation/Name/Representation/Abbrevation BGBM

IPR Statements

The section Metadata/IPRStatements contains several sub-sections that allow to provide IPR (intellectual property rights) statements. Each sub-section contains the mandatory element Text for the statement and the optional elements Details and URI for delivering more details and/or a link to a web page mit more information. The seven sections are as follows:

Section Example Remark
Acknowledgements The project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) A free text acknowledging support for the dataset (e.g. grant money, help, permission to reuse published material, etc.).
Citation Röpert D. (ed.) 2000+ [continuously updated]: Digital specimen images at the Herbarium Berolinense. - Published at [accessed dd Mmm yyyy]. Citation guidline for using the data in publications.
Disclaimer No responsibility is accepted for the accuracy of the information in this database. A disclaimer statement for the dataset (e. g. concerning responsibility for data quality or legal implications).
License Creative Commons 1.0 Public Domain Dedication waiver The license for using the data; we suggest one of the Creative Commons licenses that can be found at here.
TermsOfUse Textual metadata on specimens from the Herbarium Berolinense (B) are released under the Creative Commons 1.0 Public Domain Dedication waiver. Terms for using the published data.

Specimen Data

In ACBD terminology, a specimen is called a Unit; for each specimen, one Units/Unit will be created. Below you'll find the most commonly used ABCD elements in this sub-tree.

General unit data

ABCD element Example Remark
SourceID* Herbarium Berolinense The name or code of the data source.
SourceInstitutionID* B The unique identifier (code or name) of the institution holding the original data source.
UnitID* B -W 08738 -01 0 A unique identifier for the unit record within the data source.
UnitGUID A globally unique identifier for the unit record.
CollectorsFieldNumber 765/10 The original number assigned to the unit by the collector or observer.
RecordBasis PreservedSpecimen An indication of what the unit record describes; needs to comply with a coontrolled vocabulary.
KindOfUnit Whole plant Part(s), physical state, or class of materials represented by this specimen.
Sex Male Sex of the unit.
RecordURI The web address of the page where more information on this particular unit record can be found.
Notes Specimen examined in a review of the genera of the tribe Eupatorieae, R. M. King & H. Robinson 1968-1969 A free text description of the unit. Any notes that do not fit elsewhere.
DateLastEdited 2009-030-7 The date of the creation of or last change to this unit record.
LastEditor John Doe The name or other indication of the person or team that created or last edited this record.

Gathering event

The Gathering subsection of ABCD covers all details about the gathering site and the gathering agents. All the follwing groups and elements are located in Units/Unit/Gathering.

Group Element Example Remark
Agents GatheringAgentsText Scholz, Sipman A free text representation or concatenated version of those responsible for collecting or recording. In case of a gathering team, it is advised not to provide a concatenated text of the collectors, but individual gathering agents (see below).
GatheringAgent/AgentText Sipman Name of an individual gathering agent. The element GatheringAgent is repeatable, so it can be provided several times in case of a gathering team.
Altitude MeasurementOrFactText 1500-1600m Use this element if you have the altitude stored as a free text, that is as a single, concatenated text. If the boundaries of a range are stored as separate values in your database, use the MeasurementOrFactAtomised elements below.
MeasurementOrFactAtomised/LowerValue* 1500 The lower or only value of the gathering site altitude.
MeasurementOrFactAtomised/UpperValue 1600 The upper value for the measured gathering site altitude, if there is a range.
MeasurementOrFactAtomised/UnitOfMeasurement m The unit of measurement used to measure the gathering site altitude.
Country ISO3166Code US ISO code of the country where the voucher was collected/observed.
Name* United States of America Name of the gathering country.
DateTime DateText August 2012 Date when voucher was collected if it doesn't conform to a specific date format and is stored just as a freet text.
ISODateTimeBegin 2012-08-17 Gathering date in ISO format. If you want to provide a time span, this will be the start of the time span.
ISODateTimeEnd 2012-08-19 End datetime (in ISO format) if the gathering covers a time span.
LocalityText Landkreis Neustrelitz, Feldberger Seengebiet, Carwitz, ca. 1 km SW von Carwitz. The original gathering locality data as appearing on a label or in an original entry, as a text string. This field should be transcribed verbatim from the specimen label.
NamedArea AreaName Europe Any geographic term that is neither a country (use Country element) nor the exact locality description (use LocalityText).
AreaClass Continent Type of geographic term provided in AreaName
Biotope Text Amongst rocks and stones, calcareous soil and screes Gathering site biotope description.
- AreaDetail A free text description of further details pertaining to the observation, sampling, or collection locality which which did not fit into the one of the other elements.
SiteCoordinateSets/ SiteCoordinates/ CoordinatesLatLong ../CoordinateMethod Inferred map reference Method of coordinates determination (GPS vs. inferred from description).
LatitudeDecimal 52.49179 Latitude in decimal degrees.
LongitudeDecimal 13.23589 Longitude in decimal degreed.
CoordinatesText 52°30' N 13°23' E An alternative concatenated text representation of the lat/lon coordinates if they can't be provided as separate lat/lon values.
SpatialDatum WGS 84 A mathematical surface on which the mapping and coordinate system used for the geocodes of the gathering site are based.
CoordinateErrorDistanceInMeters 500 An estimate of how tightly the collecting locality was specified, expressed as a distance in meters corresponding to a radius around the lat/long coordinates.
AccuracyStatement Coordinates rounded to 2 decimal places. A free text statement of the degree of accuracy of the latitude and longitude coordinates.
CoordinateErrorMethod Maximum error defined by dimensions of original ordinance survey map. Verbatim statement of how the Coordinate Error was determined.
- Notes Further text relating to the gathering event that does not fit one of the specified elements.

Identification history

Most specimen databases record the complete determination or identification history of a single specimen. ABCD allows to provide this complete history; each determination becomes an Identifications/Identification subtree.

Group Subgroup Element Example Remark
- - PreferredFlag 1 The currently preferred determination should be marked with 1 or True, historic determinations with 0 or False.
Date - DateText/ISODateTimeBegin 2018-08-17 Date of the unit identification event. If in ISO format, use ISODateTimeBegin, DateText otherwise.
Identifiers - IdentifiersText Humboldt & Bonpland Text indicating the person, person team, or organisation that made the identification. If it is a team, individual Identifier subtrees should be provided, if possible (see below).
Identifier/PersonName FullName Humboldt Person that made the identification.
Result/TaxonIdentified HigherTaxa/HigherTaxon HigherTaxonName Asteraceae Name of the higher taxon. Please have a look at the BioCASE Wiki for how to prepare your database for the repeatable elements
HigherTaxonRank familia Rame of the higher taxon.
Identification/ScientificName *FullScientificName the complete name of the taxon including Authors (and years for animals) e.g. Aaronsohnia factorovskyi Warb. & Eig. var. factorovskyi
Identification/ScientificName/NameAtomised *FirstEpithet Please note: ABCD has several container for NameAtomised, it depens on your sampes which one to choose (Botanical or Zoology etc.) e.g. factorovskyi
Identification/ScientificName/NameAtomised *GenusOrMonomial e.g. Aaronsohnia
Identification/ScientificName/NameAtomised *InfraspecificEpithet Please note: ABCD has several container for NameAtomised, it depens on your sampes which one to choose (Botanical or Zoology etc.) e.g. factorovskyi
Identification/ScientificName/NameAtomised *Rank Please note: ABCD has several container for NameAtomised, it depens on your sampes which one to choose (Botanical or Zoology etc.) e.g. var.
References/Reference - TitleCitation Ralfs, J: The British Desmidieae, London 1848 A reference (e.g. an article or monograph) that was used as the base for the identifier's taxon identification (e.g. by means of providing a key or a description of the taxon).
CitationDetail p. 22 + 226, 35 pl.
- - Notes Invalid publication as: Echinella rotata Greville in W.J. Hooker 1833: British Flora Vol II, pp. 432, London, p.398 Supplementary remarks about the unit identification.

Botanical Garden Unit

ABCD element Example Remark
AccessionStatus C(urrent) The current status of the accession in the garden (current or not current).
Cultivation Allows for cultivation information to be passed as free text in order to help the receiving garden care for the transferred accession or to record the garden's experience made with this accession.
Hardiness 1 A flag indicating that the accession is grown outdoors in the botanical garden.
IPEN XX-0-HEID-3253 A unique number given to plant materials accessioned in conformance with the rules of the International Plant Exchange Network.
LocationInGarden MD4 The current location of the living plant in the botanical garden.
Perennation A code to indicate the means of perennation.
PlantingDate 2007-07-07 The date in ISO format the plant was planted at its current location in the botanical garden.


ABCD element Example Remark
SourceID* Herbarium Berolinense The name or code of the data source.