Standards Development


A standard is a definition or format established by consensus and approved by a recognized body. Applied to data, standards provide structure, content, terminology (values), rules and guidelines for information collected. Data standards ensure that mandatory fields and requirements to validate the data when it is entered are captured, rules for the data elements are recognized and that we understand how the data is captured, stored and presented.

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

The participation of subject matter experts in the development of standards and the design of ZIMS is vital to the success of the Project.  One of IADISC's goals is to promote and support the involvement of SMEs by maintaining a list of contacts and identifying workshops and discussion participants as needed.  

The SME database contains a list of subject matter experts that have volunteered to become involved in either ZIMS JAD (Joint Application Design) Workshops, Standards Work, or the Electronic Discussion Forums.  

There are 4 standards discussion forums:  core, veterinary, taxonomy and aquatic.  If you are interested in participating in any of these 4 discussion forums, please contact the standard moderators below or go to

core:  Nilda Ferrer (

veterinary :  Ilse Stalis ( or Tracy Clippinger ( )

taxonomy :  Paul Andrew ( or Kevin Johnson (

aquatic : Jane Davis (

To become involved in the Standards Work and ZIMS design, please contact one of the IADISC representative for your region.

ZIMS data standard development process:

  1. ISIS staff identify specific standards related to use cases in the core and vet areas, and report them to CGI. CGI reviews/validates standards identified by the ISIS staff.
  2. Data standards moderators and/or ISIS staff assign the standard a unique number (Core: ZS0001 series/Vet: ZS2000 series).
  3. Moderators and/or ISIS staff determine if an external/internal standard exists and whether or not additional expert advice (standards consultant) is needed.
  4. Standards Champion and/or ISIS staff prepare a ‘straw model’ (draft) of the standard which gets posted in the ZIMS Portal Document Library.
  5. The straw model standard templates are reviewed and expanded upon by SMEs at a data standards workshop. Workshop documentors compile all comments.
  6. Standards Champion reviews the draft of the standard and prepare notes or comments that should accompany the standard template when published and submits to ISIS Document Librarian to place in the Document Library.
  7. Standards Champion publish the standard on the data standards zimsforum providing a two-week deadline for discussion by SMEs. (Note: two-week deadline is a guideline and may be increased at the moderator's discretion, if necessary.)
  8. Standards Champion collects and publishes summary of the forum discussions to Document Library (1 week)
  9. Standards Champion publishes the standard on the data standards forum for a vote with one-week deadline. (Note: one-week deadline is a guideline and may be increased at the moderator's discretion, if necessary.)
  10. If consensus on the recommended standard is reached, the standard is marked as “pending” and submitted to the International Animal Data Information Systems Committee (IADISC) for ratification. (See IADISC standard development process ) Otherwise, all contested standards are archived for a future standards workshop.
  11. If IADISC ratifies the standard, the standard is marked as finalized and CGI is notified.
  12. If a recommended standard is not ratified at the regional level, it goes to the ISIS Scientific Advisory Committee (ISIS board-level committee) to recommend an interim standard until a consensus is achieved at a global level.

Role Clarification

 1.      Standards Document Champion 

2.      Standards Forum Moderator


Archived Standards Listserve Discussion Group Documents