As the long as the file is structured data (spreadsheets and databases rather than documents or PDFs), the file type is not really an issue as the ALA can accept data in any well known data file format. However, data structured to match one of the ALA templates or Darwin Core will be much easier to integrate. We can also take a look at other schema but it will likely take longer to load as we convert it to Darwin Core for loading.


What are the minimum mandatory fields needed by the ALA?

To include a record in the ALA the only information needed is:

  • a unique identifier for each record (e.g. an ID, occurrenceID, or catalogNumber field)
  • the basis of record (observation, specimen, still image, movie, sound)
  • a recognisable species name (scientific or common name)
  • an indication of location (coordinates, a recognisable place name, a polygon).


Additional information produces a higher ‘quality’ record, where ‘quality’ means that users can more easily determine its ‘fitness for use’ e.g. can it be used for analysis, modelling or an environmental impact assessment.


See also Data upload templates.