Registration (was: TurboTaxonomy?)

Faunaplan at AOL.COM Faunaplan at AOL.COM
Wed Aug 25 05:18:08 CDT 2004

On 24.08.04, Richard Pyle wrote:
>>One of the shining examples of true, successful international cooperation in
human society is the voluntary conformance of the world's biologists to
compliance with the Codes of scientific nomenclature.  <<

Did not the authors of the new ICZN Code (4th edition) anticipate some kind
of registration when they wrote the new Article 79 on "List of Available Names
in Zoology"? Isn't it a logical necessity that there should be two elements:
first a list of existing available names AND second some sort of registration
for new names (updates)? Article 79.4.3. clearly states that "no unlisted name
within the scope (taxonomic field, ranks, and time period covered) of an
adopted Part of the List of Available Names in Zoology has any status in zoological
nomenclature despite any previous availability", but I could not find
detailed rulings for updates. In my opinion, a logical consequence would be to
install some official "pot" where new names are collected and carefully checked for
compliance with the Code, before they can be added to an approved List of
available Names.

As for the terminology: the IZCN Code already had and still has the terms
"Official Indexes" (for rejected works and names) and "Official Lists" (for
individual works and names made available by Opinions) which obviously should not
be confused with the new term used in Art. 79 "List of Available Names".

... and...while we're again discussing this issue, the lists of names in
GBIF, ITIS, UBIO are growing and growing. UBIO seems to have a plan to complete
it's name server down to genus level in the course of this year, and they have a
"Memorandum of Cooperation" with GBIF. So, can we expect that this part of
the work will be done in the near future??? Is this realistic?
At least in my recent test searches I still found many names  which are
obviously not Code-compliant and it was not difficult to detect misspellings and
even homonymies among family-group names. Why not make sure that at least the
minimum Code requirements are met before any name is listed in GBIF and
associated websites? These online databases will serve as a major source for many
users of taxonomic names, so mistakes could even be counter-productive in solving
the "names problem"... So I'm just wondering: do the Code Commissions have an
official "contract" (incl. financial support) within the GBIF (and allied)
projects? Is there a chance that the Code Commissions will be strengthened in
this process?
(If so, may be they could even produce turbo-versions of the Codes, which I'm
sure would be very useful online tools for many users)

Best wishes,
Wolfgang Lorenz, Tutzing, Germany

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