OECD Harmonised Templates


Description of templates, XML Schema and Schematron

An OECD template is a guide for structuring data entry/database management systems for reporting a summary of the results of a test on a chemical to determine its properties or effects on human health and the environment (e.g., hydrolysis, skin irritation, repeat dose toxicity, etc.). These templates can be used for reporting summary results for testing on any type of a chemical (e.g., pesticides, biocides, industrial chemicals).

The templates are aimed at developers of database systems as they prescribe the formats by which such information can be entered into and maintained in database.  By using these templates, governments and industry will easily be able to electronically exchange test study summary information.  In order for information technology developers to build data entry screens and/or database systems based on the OECD Harmonised Templates which can generate data files that can be imported into other database systems, each template has a corresponding “XML schema” (i.e., a common electronic data export/import format which describes the data structure) and a “schematron” which describes the relation / condition and constraints, or validation rules, between multiple fields.  For example, for the "Acute toxicity to fish” template, there is an “Acute toxicity to fish” XML schema and an “Acute toxicity to fish” schematron. 

Note: The harmonised templates are not data entry screens. Each OECD template lists all of the data elements which could be relevant for a summary of a study as well as the format in which the information should be entered and stored electronically. Instructions are provided for IT developers regarding programming of data entry tools, as well as help texts for subsequent users of these data entry tools.

The following background information is also provided on templates: Introduction to OECD templates; the Development of OECD’s templates, the Format and conventions used for the templates, as well as Frequently asked Questions”.


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