Biological Nomenclature and Taxonomy Data Standard (and ITIS)

Pelaez Goycochea Alejandro-FC pelaez at SERVIDOR.UNAM.MX
Fri Sep 11 20:25:31 CDT 1998


I'd like to add my two bits to the recent thread about standarized
taxonomy with some sintetic satements:

1) Taxonomic nomenclature is one of the first and best standarized
intelectual efforts never done.

2) Vernon Heywood somewhere wrote that Linnaeus more than a naturalist was
an information scientific. Is a good idea to consider taxonomy as an
information system, with protocols (codes), data bases (libraries,
collections), backups (duplicates), optimizing indexes (kew, gray cards,
etc), users, query or reports (monographs, floras), etc, etc.

3) As an information system taxonomy could be analized with tools from
information systems science and we may try answer a number of questions
like: are user satisfied?, are the users well identified?, are their
requirments well identified?, is enought efficent? are the costs
razonable?, could be optimized?, how?, could be focused as a national
effort?.

4) Everyone can answer the questions as you like. By myself, in order to
build a useful information system and using this approach concluded (while
I was working for CONABIO) that in particular the problem of the taxonomic
nomenclature and classification could be stated in informatic terms with
the following functional requirments:
   a) the system has to have one accepted or "official" list of names and
the same for classification, but,
   b) should include all the rest of the names and point of views about
classification in a way enabling people to work with their own schema (and
also to find equivalences) even if disagrees with the "official"  points
of view.

5) Such system should be a distributed (international) enterprise.

6) I apologize for my bad english

Alejandro Pelaez




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