NODC and Taxicon.

Dr. Randy D. Ralph RALPHR at IRIS.UNCG.EDU
Wed Jul 6 00:21:58 CDT 1994

Regarding NODC:

I have been developing such a coding system for all taxonomic data since
1969.  The code began as part of an indexing scheme for taxonomic data
at Biological Abstracts in 1968 - 69 for the Toxicology Information Project of
the NLM.  It has evolved since into a hierarchically retrievable code to the
family level in all taxa.

I have worked on a taxonomic database since then which I have called "Taxicon."
It currently contains over 11,000 coded taxa to the family level in a 5 kingdom
arrangement.  The database contains over 80,000 species coded to the family
level.  I have tried to spark interest at both Biological Abstracts and
Chemical Abstracts for use of the code for indexing purposes since it is a
maximum of 15 digits long to the family level, but without success.  Please
note that the code was developed for BIBLIOGRAPHIC INDEXING purposes, not for
museum use.  Some of the taxonomic entititles preserved in the hierarchical
code, therefore, have no taxonomic merit, but considerable retrieval value.
"Algae" and "Fungi" spring to mind, for example.

Example hiararchies from the Taxicon coding scheme follow:

T2      Monera
T22       Schizomycophyta (Bacteria)
T2230       Eubacteriales
T223015       Bacillaceae

Species are indexed in the database using unique identifiers generated by
concatenating the full Taxicon code with the specific binomial as below:

T223015BACILLUSANTHRACIS - the anthrax bacillus.

T3      Protista
T32       Eumycota
T322        Basidiomycotina
T3222         Hymenomycetes
T32221          Holobasidionycetidae
T322211           Agaricales
T32221110           Amanitaceae

T5      Euphyta
T52       Tracheophyta
T525        Spermatophyta
T5252         Magnoliophyta
T52522          Lilopsida
T5252214          Liliiflorae
T52522144           Liliales
T525221443            Orchidaceae

T6      Metazoa
T62       Chordata
T624        Vertabrata
T6249         Mammalia
T62494          Theria
T624943           Eutheria
T6249435            Primates
T62494352             Hominidae
T624943422              Homo sapiens

Both databases now reside on my PC at home within (hokey, but it works) Q&A
DOS-based database management software.

Dr. Randy D. Ralph
ralphr at

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