A zoologist asks: botanical names practice

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at FREELER.NL
Thu Jun 17 20:17:26 CDT 2004

Well, I was using 'latest' loosely, as I was trying out the more general
principle of including citation of a recent revision. Obviously the
literally latest revision is not necessarily the best. Also the latest
reliable revision may have been done in the course of a regional flora
project. However, the treatment of the group in the regional flora may well
be based on a recent review.

I am assuming that anybody who puts out a non-taxonomic publication
involving certain species has some idea what species circumscription he is
using, or can find out what circumscription is used by his informant(s).
After all he did involve himself with that species for his research. Putting
together a publication involves quite a bit of homework anyway, so adding
this detail should not increase the burden all that much anyway, and it
would have beneficial effects, as suggested earlier. Of course, for this
purpose it is nice to have a database that provides an overview of recent
viewpoints as to circumscriptions. But 'the Plant-Book' already does this to
some extent, and TROPICOS does it more extensively.


----- Original Message -----
From: Mary Barkworth <Mary at BIOLOGY.USU.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2004 7:15 PM
Subject: Re: A zoologist asks: botanical names practice

The problem is that, at least in botany, we often do NOT consult the
most recent revision etc. (with which we may or may not agree); we
consult a regional treatment that we consider reliable - or at least one
that is accepted within the region that we are working in.  Having to go
to revisions for each name would be enormously time-consuming and
expensive. It also raises the question as to the point of a regional
treatment. I suspect that people working with different groups may feel
differently, partly because there are no regional treatments for some
groups.  I understand Edwards' intent, but I do hope that we are not
going to start requiring citation of the GUID for each name used in a
paper. I really do not think that the present practice leads to many
problems.  Let us not require an enormous increase in work by everyone
writing papers that mention names simply to correct a problem that might
occur in a few papers.  Having a central reference of concepts could be
useful - TROPICOS has something comparable for groups that the Missouri
Botanical Garden works with - but requiring that it be consulted any
time a name is cited would be, in my unhumble opinion, foolish.

-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom Discussion List [mailto:TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU] On
Behalf Of Paul van Rijckevorsel
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2004 10:49 AM
Subject: Re: A zoologist asks: botanical names practice

It seems to me that instead of adopting 'potential taxa', 'GUIDs', etc,
many of the objectives recently discussed here could be achieved by
instituting, as a good custom, the citation of the latest revision for every
species treated. If all non-taxonomic publications were to do this, this
would :
- surely raise taxonomic papers in citation indexes
- fix the species circumscription that is used
- show up for which groups reviews are overdue (hopefully this
would encourage funding)

----- Original Message -----
From: James Edwards <jedwards at gbif.org>
To: 'Paul van Rijckevorsel' <dipteryx at FREELER.NL>;
Cc: 'GBIF Scientific Staff' <sci.staff at gbif.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2004 5:21 PM
Subject: [TAXACOM] Unambiguously identifying taxonomic concepts (was: A
zoologist asks: botanical names practice)

It is for just the reasons cited by Paul van Rijckevorsel that those of
at the secretariat of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility are
and more coming to the conclusion that the community needs to have
unique identifiers (GUIDs) for taxonomic concepts. We are investigating
possibility of establishing a service to establish GUIDs for various
entities, including specimens, natural history collections, publications
taxonomic concepts.

We distributed a short white paper on GUIDs at the recent annual meeting
the Natural Science Collections Alliance (NSCA), and invite comments on
You can view and/or download the paper from the GBIF web site

          - Jim

Dr. James L. Edwards
Executive Secretary
Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Universitetsparken 15
DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø

Phone:  +45 3532 1470
Fax:      +45 3532 1480

E-mail:   jedwards at gbif.org
URL:      www.gbif.org

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