ITIS

Karstad-Schueler bckcdb at ISTAR.CA
Thu Sep 3 17:08:58 CDT 1998


Mary Barkworth wrote:
>
> What I could not see in the presentation is any overview of how the
> database is going to handle synonymy.

* Here's the proposal implicit in my previous message about this: handle
synonomy by including selected synonyms, especially those that have been
widely used, as separate entries in the database, and for each name
have fields containing both 1) other wholely/partly synonomous names
(with comments on their content), and 2) the citation to the publication
that propounded the name/concept or included it in a list (i.e. AOU
Checklist, 1957).  Then each name used in one of the databases to be
systematised by the ITIS database would be referenced by 1) the name,
2) the citation to the published account of a particular authority's
concept of the taxon, and 3) an explanation of how the name came to be
used, as in:

>  required that any document that used the database also state up
> front whether the taxonomic data contained have been converted to
> conform to some standard without consulting the specimens involved,


This way inclusion of reams of synonyms wouldn't be mandatory for any
higher taxon: ITIS could just enter the American Fisheries Society list
of Unionid names at first, but later and previous lists and revisions
could be spliced into the system as they occur or time or necessity
allows.

fred schueler.
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