Not all fields in the template are required and some can be left blank or removed, but please provide as much information as you can about the records. All required fields are marked as such on this guidance sheet.

Please complete the NBN Atlas occurrence record upload template CSV file and send it along with your metadata form to

The NBN Atlas uses the Darwin Core standards for sharing and storing biodiversity data. The column names in the template are Darwin Core names and there are many other available terms that data providers can use to describe their data. Read more information on Darwin Core and the full list of available terms.

Darwin Core Term NBN Data Exchange Format Equivalent


RecordKey Definition: The unique, and persistent, key or ID of the record


eventID SampleKey Definition: An identifier for the set of information associated with an Event (something that occurs at a place and time).
collectionCode SurveyKey Definition: The name, acronym, coden, or initialism identifying the collection or data set from which the record was derived.
datasetID Definition: An identifier for the set of data.


DatasetTitle Definition: The title given to the NBN Atlas data resource that the record belongs to.

Example: “The ARC Rare Species Database”



Definition: The name (or acronym) of the data partner of the record.


Definition: A legally binding licence giving official permission to do something with the resource.

One of: CC0, CC-BY, CC-BY-NC or OGL

Additional Information: see the data licence help guide for more information.

See the definition of Creative Commons licences

See the Open Government Licence – OGL definition



Definition: A person or organisation owning or managing rights over the resource.

Example: “The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds”



Definition: The full scientific name

Examples: “Coleoptera” (order)

Vespertilionidae (family)

“Manis” (genus)

Ctenomys sociabilis (genus + specificEpithet)

Ambystoma tigrinum diaboli (genus + specificEpithet + infraspecificEpithet)

“Roptrocerus typographi (Györfi, 1952)” (genus + specificEpithet + scientificNameAuthorship)

Quercus agrifolia var. oxyadenia (Torr.) J.T. Howell (genus + specificEpithet + taxonRank + infraspecificEpithet + scientificNameAuthorship)

Additional Information: Authorship and date information should be included if known.



TaxonVersionKey Definition: The Taxon Version Key (TVK) for the species, as supplied by the UK Species Inventory

Example: NBNSYS0000005108

identificationRemarks Definition: Notes or comments on the identification

Example: ‘New to the UK, not in the UK species inventory’



Definition: Description of the extent to which the taxonomic identification has been verified to be correct.

One of: ‘Accepted – correct’,

‘Accepted – considered correct’,

‘Unconfirmed – plausible’ or

‘Unconfirmed – not reviewed’


The default is ‘Unconfirmed’



StartDate Definition: The date or interval during which an Event occurred.

There is only one date field in the Darwin Core format, which can accept:

  1. a full date (e.g. 2008-09-04)
  2. a partial date (e.g. 2008-09 for Sept 2008)
  3. a year (e.g. 2008)
  4. a day range (e.g. 2008-09-04/05)
  5. a month range (e.g. 2008-09/10)
  6. a year range (e.g. 2008/2009)

The year and month can also be supplied in columns labelled ‘year’ and ‘month’.

Additional Information: For occurrences, this is the date when the event was recorded. Not suitable for a time in a geological context.



Recorder Definition: Names of people, groups, or organisations responsible for recording the original Occurrence.

Examples: “José E. Crespo”, “Oliver P. Pearson | Anita K. Pearson”

Additional Information: The recommended best practice is to separate the values with a vertical bar (‘ | ‘).

identifiedBy Determiner Definition: A list of names of people, groups, or organisations who assigned the taxon to the subject.

[Required if decimalLatitude and decimalLongitude are not supplied]

GridReference Definition: Location of the record using the Ordnance Survey National Grid reference system.

British (OSGB) and Irish (OSI) National Grid references are both accepted. Records from Northern Ireland should be supplied with an OSI grid reference or latitude/longitude coordinates.

Channel Islands National Grid references are not accepted; CI records should be supplied with latitude/longitude coordinates.

Example: NS417723

Additional Information: This term is not part of the Darwin Core standard


[Required if gridReference isn’t provided]

Must be used in conjunction with decimalLongitude

Definition: The geographic latitude (in decimal degrees, using the spatial reference system given in geodeticDatum) of the geographic center of a Location.

Example: “-41.0983423”


[Required if gridReference isn’t provided]

Must be used in conjunction with decimalLatitude

Definition: The geographic longitude (in decimal degrees, using the spatial reference system given in geodeticDatum) of the geographic centre of a Location.

Example: “-1.1761111”


[Required if coordinates are supplied]

Precision Definition: The horizontal distance (in meters) from the given decimalLatitude and decimalLongitude describing the smallest circle containing the whole of the Location.
geodeticDatum Projection Definition: The ellipsoid, geodetic datum, or spatial reference system (SRS) upon which the geographic coordinates given in decimalLatitude and decimalLongitude as based.

Examples: “EPSG:4326” or “WGS84”

locationID SiteKey Definition: An identifier for the set of location information


SiteName Definition: The specific description of the place, or place name.
locationRemarks Definition: Comments or notes about the location.


Definition: Description of the extent to which the capture resolution georeference has been verified to represent the best possible spatial description. The resolution on the NBN Atlas may be at a lower resolution than the capture resolution.

One of: ‘Accepted’,

‘Accepted – correct’,

‘Accepted – considered correct’,


‘Unconfirmed – plausible’ or

‘Unconfirmed – not reviewed’


The default is ‘Unconfirmed’



Definition: the nature of the record. In most cases this is ‘HumanObservation’. Other possible values are:





See more details



ZeroAbundance Definition: the presence or absence of individuals in the occurrence.

Either: ‘present’ or ‘absent’

occurrenceRemarks Comment Definition: comments or notes on the occurrence.

Example: ‘dead on the road’

Definition: whether the organism was alive or dead at the time of the occurrence

One of: ‘alive’, ‘dead’ or ‘not recorded’

The default is ‘alive’

samplingProtocol SampleMethod Definition: The name of, reference to, or description of the method or protocol used during an Event.

Examples: “UV light trap”, “mist net”, “bottom trawl”, “ad hoc observation”, “point count”,

individualCount Definition: the number of individuals represented present at the time of the occurrence.

Examples: ‘1’ or ‘25’

organismQuantity Abundance Definition: A number or enumeration value for the quantity of organisms. The type of value is described by the organismQuantityType term.

Example: 10 (percent cover) or S (Superabundant on the SACFORN scale)

organismQuantityType Definition: The type of quantification system used for the quantity of organisms.

Examples: PercentCover or SACFORN

lifeStage Definition: The age class or life stage of the biological individual(s) at the time the occurrence was recorded.

Examples: ‘egg’, ‘eft’, ‘juvenile’, ‘adult’

Additional information: In the case of multiple life stages in a single occurrence use the pipe (|) symbol to delimit the string: ‘egg | adult’

sex Definition: The sex of the biological individual(s) represented in the occurrence.

Examples: M, F, male or female.