Registration => two definitions (Registration = Indexing]

B.J.Tindall bti at DSMZ.DE
Wed Feb 5 16:19:01 CST 2003

At 09:17 5.2.2003 -0500, christian thompson wrote:
>Thanks, Richard, again for your clarification of the different
>definitions of registration.
>Your first notion, that is, giving some kind of official status to a
>circumscription / taxonomic hypothesis, etc., is what ITIS, Species2000,
>etc., are all about. The whole purpose of ITIS was to give US Government
>administrators an OFFICIAL taxonomy to underly legislation, like ESA
>(endangered species act), CITIES, etc. Most scientists reject this idea
>as a clear violation of the "freedom of taxonomic thought or actions."
>However, it is a necessary evil.

This couples into my earlier post, but probably has also to do with the
fact that in physics we have an "official" system of physical units (SI
units) and in chemistry and biochemistry there are official systems of
nomenclature which determine how particular compounds are to be named - so
why not an official biological nomenclature/taxonomy? In bacteriology we
have the constant problem that "registered (species) names" are confused
with "registered species". The difficulties of official taxonomies has less
to do with the "freedom of taxonomic thought or actions" more to do with
the fact that living organisms are a bit more complex to define than the
kilogram or a single enzyme.

>As for existing names, the zoological code does now provide a mechanism
>for registration (indexing). That is, the List of Available Names in
>Zoology (Article 79). So if the fish community, for example, wants they
>can propose that Bill's list be adopted by the ICZN, etc. Then the only
>existing names that you would have to worry about are those on that
>list.  I do not believe any group has yet to even thought about using
>this new provision. Notice that the operative word is "Available" [which
>I think in Botany is "legitimate" in the sense of validly published]

Essentially this would seem to be similar to the botanical "ncu's = names
in current usage" or the bacteriological "approved lists" and the
"validation lists" - sorry terminology confusion is possible here:
John McNeill drew this up in 1997 and botany has since moved towards
"BioCode" terms.

This would also imply that a name previously "available" but not on the
list is simply ignored? In which case you have an "indexed available name".

>The key that you want is the separate the discussion about registering
>"species" which is what ITIS, Species2000, GBIF, etc. are all talking
>about VERSUS indexing mere "names,"  which some of us want to do before
>getting involved in the other. [And to some it is building thesauri,
>sorry David]
>So, let try for REGISTRATION (of valid names) versus INDEXING
>(available names)
Not sure that this is true. In bacteriology in order to be recognised by
the code a name must be subject to "registration" (the name must be placed
on an official list - an "indexed available name" as used above) - thus a
zoological name which is "available" would have to be placed on an official
list (which tells the whole world who, where and when it was published -
i.e. the Zoological Record). Even in bacteriology we ONLY produce a list of
"validly published names" ("registered available names" or in botany
"registered validly published names") - in bacteriology if it is not
"registered" its not "validly published" - only then do we apply the same
type of criteria to work out whether the name is "correct" = (valid =
accepted). However, as far as I know ITIS, Species 2000 and GBIF are only
being supplied with our "validly published names" (i.e. including ALL
synonyms). In both the BioCode AND the Bacteriological Code "registration"
applies only to names. In these works it has never been used in any other
way. Once you apply the filter of "taxonomic concept" +
legitimate/acceptable/potentailly valid + priority/precedance you leave the
realms of official status in BOTH codes - but this is what the databases
want - they don't want "registered names" they want us to tell them ONE
UNAMBIGUOUS NAME for that species. They want a "registered taxonomy" and
that is something very different.

Surely Richard's orginal post was "registered names" versus "registered

>F. Christian Thompson
>Systematic Entomology Lab., USDA
>c/o Smithsonian Institution
>MRC-0169 NHB
>PO Box 37012
>Washington, DC 20013-7012
>(202) 382-1800 voice
>(202) 786-9422 FAX
>cthompso at e-mail
>  web site

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