Numeric taxonomic code of NODC

Geoff Read read_g at KOSMOS.WCC.GOVT.NZ
Tue Jul 5 17:01:35 CDT 1994

The USA National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) taxonomic code was an
attempt to (as they said in 1984[*]) "adapt the Linnean system to modern
methods of data storage and retrieval." NODC then required the use of the
code in all marine biological data it accepted for processing. The code
used a basic 10 digit format so that 50 was an annelid, 5001 a polychaete,
500123 family Syllidae, 50012303 genus Syllis, and the last two digits
allowed 99 species per genus. A few further symbols allowed refinements
such as cross-referencing to synonyms. NODC maintained the listings.

Is this an historical relic or would anyone advocate continuing such a
system today? Regardless of the species-level being too limiting it might
have a utility down to family or genus perhaps? Is it still in use at NODC
or elsewhere?

Geoff Read <read_g at>

[*] Key to Oceanog. Records Documentation no. 15, vol 1.

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