Standard terminologies must provide a stability of definitions. If publications refer to the URI of a term, the link must be semantically stable and be true to the definition intended by the author.

That said, with minor increments of the standard, definitions of terms can only be broadened or made more explicit, if the original sense of the definition remains valid. The community discussion leading to a refinement of a term should consider this. If a definition changes substantially, it may receive an own URI and replace any redundant or deprecated terms. The deprecated terms will remain available at their original URI.

If alterations in terms lead to incompatibility with previous versions, a new major version of the Trait-data Standard Vocabulary may be issued, providing new versioned URIs for all terms of the standard that have been altered since the previous major version.

Discussions on terms and versions are coordinated in the Github Issues.


release candidate: v0.9.0, released xx September 2018

major changes

  • move URI for terms to GFBio terminology service
  • rename source file into ETS.csv
  • fix date scheme to ISO 8601
  • eliminate term versions, introduce ‘FirstIssuedIn’ to refer to ETS version
  • introduce Traitlist|relatedTerm and revive Traitlist|source

minor changes

  • update documentation page and field definitions
  • fix documentation page relative links
  • add contributing conditions (CONTRIBUTING.md) & license statement (LICENSE.md)

v0.8.0, released 29 May 2018

(Github )


v0.7.0, released 21 March 2018

(Github )

major changes

  • add class/extension “Taxon” with extended taxonomic hierarchical terms.
  • rename terms of “Biodiversity Exploratories” extension

v0.6.1, released 21 Nov. 2017


v0.6, released 14 Nov. 2017

major changes

  • Construct multi-page website using Rmarkdown Website
  • add recommendations on how to build trait thesaurus

minor changes


v0.5, released 3 Nov. 2017

Website | Github release | DOI:

major changes

  • fix URIs of terms, forward URI of terms identical to DwC
  • removed colum ‘vocabulary’, define constrained vocabulary in Comments instead

minor changes

  • spell-checking terms and descriptions, remove reference to Exploratories

v0.4, released Aug. 2017


v0.2, released 12 Mai 2017