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The Delta System – conditions of use

2 May 2006

M. J. Dallwitz, T. A. Paine, and E. J. Zurcher


The DELTA format (DEscription Language for TAxonomy) is a flexible method for encoding taxonomic descriptions for computer processing. DELTA-format data can be used to produce natural-language descriptions, conventional and interactive keys, and cladistic and phenetic classifications.

The DELTA System is a suite of programs originally developed at CSIRO Entomology. It comprises: Intkey, a program for interactive identification and information retrieval; the DELTA Editor, a program for creating and editing DELTA data; Confor, a program for translating DELTA data into other formats; various other programs; documentation, including ‘User’s Guide to the DELTA Editor’ and ‘User’s Guide to the DELTA System’; and sample data files.

The DELTA System and various data sets are available via the DELTA Home Page:

Conditions of use


If use of the programs contributes to a publication, you must include appropriate citations, and send the reference for your publication to the DELTA authors (who will add it to the list of DELTA publications on the Web). We would also appreciate receiving copies of paper and CD publications. For information about citing the DELTA programs and contacting the authors, see

Use or distribution of the programs for financial gain

Use or distribution of the programs for financial gain is prohibited unless you have entered into a License Agreement for such use or distribution.

Redistribution of the programs

You may distribute the programs provided you do not receive a financial gain from such distribution, and you include the latest version of this document, available at If you make the programs available at a Web site, it must be via links to the DELTA site, not as copies of the files.


Terms, conditions, warranties, or representations, relating in any way to the programs, are excluded, except where expressly provided to the contrary in these conditions of use. CSIRO, or its employees, or the authors of the programs, shall not be liable for any loss, damage, or injury (including without limitation any loss of profit, indirect, consequential, or incidental loss, damage, or injury) arising from the use of the programs.

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