As the long as the file is structured data (documents or PDFs need to be converted to a spreadsheet or database), the file type is not really an issue as the VAL can accept data in any well known data file format. However, data structured to match one of the VAL 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 VAL?

To include a record in the VAL 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 recognizable species name (scientific or common name)
  • an indication of location (coordinates, a recognizable 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.



Material adapted from the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia by Atlas of Living Australia for the Vermont Atlas of Life.