GUID Guide

TitleGUID Guide
Publication TypeiDigBio Standards
Year of Publication2013
Keywordsdocumentation, GUID
AbstractA Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) is a unique reference number used as an identifier. Complexities associated with specimens and associated, dynamic data in natural history collections have led to differences in opinions about how to create GUIDs and where they are required vs. recommended. This guide is intended to give data providers the information necessary to assign GUIDs that will allow iDigBio to ingest and share data. Suggestions for improvements to this guide are welcome, and can be inserted as comments on A more general discussion on the use of identifiers in natural history collections is appropriate in iDigBio’s community forums:


Submitted by baskaufs on

There is no mention in this guide of the TDWG GUID Applicability Guide standard (  It also is not clear to me that the iDigBio recommendations in this guide are in conformance to the TDWG standard, in particular R2 and R7. 
I also find it extremely disturbing that iDigBio does not make it clear that the specimen itself should have a GUID identifier that is distinct from the records about the specimen and other resources related to the specimen (e.g. images).  I was under the impression from the comment at that this was going to be fixed.  I don't see that it has been in the 2013-06-26 version.  If iDigBio doesn't fix this, it will be a huge impediment to current efforts to clarify the semantics associated with specimens. 
Steve Baskauf