Publication of Checklists

Dear GBIF community,

At the moment, there are three ways to publish taxonomic checklists:

  • IPT with DwC TaxonCore
  • Checklist Bank
  • Catalogue of Life
    It would be good to have guidelines to identify the best candidate depending on the type of checklist people want to publish. Also the type of standards to use DarwinCore vs ColDP.
    Are there any potential problems when publishing through multiple channels?
    What are the pros/cons of using one or another.

Thanks for the clarification,


Hi André,
you cannot publish to COL, so there are really just 2 options that exist. You can register a URL to a DwC checklist archive with or you can publish a DwC or ColDP archive in which allows both to register a URL or to manually upload an archive file when you don’t want to host it yourself. The later only requires a GBIF user account, but there is no need for an institutional account, endorsement or even affiliation.

When publishing to GBIF the checklist registration information is synced with frequently, so the same dataset will appear also there. We plan also to do the reverse, but that is not in place currently.

Format wise DwC is limited to the star schema which means many information has to be repeated and is hard to express. ColDP is much more relational while also being a CSV oriented format. Especially when it comes to bibliographic references & name relations ColDP is a richer format that we recommend for

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FWIW, I’m working on a Python package and associated tools for handling COLDP files - both for programmatic construction of the datasets and for updating or transforming them. I’m more than happy to collaborate.

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