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Date of this Version



Simple Darwin Core for Non-Biologists Primer. Data Curation Network

Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,

Data Curation Network Mentor, Jake Carlson (University of Michigan)

Versions Last GitHub Release of DwC: 2021-07-15,


This primer focuses on Simple DwC (, a “mechanism used to share biodiversity information using the simplest methods and structure” (Darwin Core Task Group, 2014). With Simple DwC, the DwC schema is applied to a single flat file (i.e., table or spreadsheet). Because it is a self-contained data set that can be opened, edited, and analyzed using a wide variety of software, Simple DwC is easier to implement than other forms of DwC that use XML, RDF, or relational databases. The primer’s goal is to assist a curator presented with a data set structured in Simple DwC, or to assist a curator in a decision to apply the standard to a data set.

This work was created as part of the “Specialized Data Curation” Workshop #3 held at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, United States on November 5-6, 2019.

SimpleDWC_Primer_CheatSheet_v1.1.pdf (308 kB)
Simple DwC Primer Cheat Sheet

SimpleDWC_Primer_CheatSheet_v1.1.xlsx (69 kB)
Simple DwC Primer Cheat Sheet