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SWeDe (Scientific Web-service Description) - an XML Schema Definition for describing Web Services in the scientific domain
Niall Beard (University of Manchester), Patricia Kelbert (FUB-BGBM), Bachir Balech (Institute of Biomembranes and Bioenergetics - Italian National Research Center)
At the Biodiversity Data Enrichment Hackathon in Leiden we created an XML Schema Definition for describing Web services in the scientific domain called SWeDe (Scientific Web-service Description).
A web service provider wishing to propagate their web service will upload descriptive information on catalogue sites such as the Biodiversity Catalogue, the Tools Registry or any other relevant catalogue. This information should include a textual description of how to use the service as well as usage conditions such as licensing and restrictions, and other useful annotations.
The purpose of SWeDe is to allow web service providers to maintain just one document describing their web services rather than maintaining documentation over several different catalogues.
Hence, if a provider is required to change some information about their service, they can do so once - in their SWeDe document. Participating catalogues can then both periodically or in real-time, download and parse the SWeDe file and display its contents within their site. They can then update their databases with any alterations accordingly.
The SWeDe Schema was designed by scientists and developers to cover as many aspects of scientific web services as possible. These include attributes such as the scientific category, technological category, projects (ie. funding), contact information (ie. institutions, persons) , intellectual property rights (IPR) and citations. The SWeDe schema re-uses several components from the Access to Biological Collections Data (ABCD) Schema. It can be used to describe services of both the two most predominant service types, REST and SOAP.
In addition to the schema, a rudimentary form to create your own SWeDe document (code-named the "SWeDe farmer") was also produced which can be found at
Further steps involve collaborating with Biodiversity Catalogue to parse SWeDe schemas, to improve the SWeDe Farmer, and to disseminate SWeDe to the scientific community.
The full XSD schema can be found in its GitHub Repository and further reading about SWeDe can be found on the pro-iBioshpere wiki.
For more information please contact [email protected]

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 312848