"Can you bank on GenBank?"

Nico Mario Franz nmf2 at CORNELL.EDU
Thu Sep 2 19:38:22 CDT 2004

That's the title of an article by D.J. Harris (TREE 18: 317-319, 2003) in
which he reviews the extent of "erroneous submissions" of sequences to
GenBank. I'm interested in finding out what Taxacomers' experiences are
concerning the *taxonomy* adopted by GenBank in order to structure the

GenBank offers some insights here:

but otherwise often states: "The NCBI taxonomy database is not an
authoritative source for nomenclature or classification - please consult
the relevant scientific literature for the most reliable information."

Is the somewhat rudimentary taxonomy of GenBank starting to become a
practical problem? What about outdated names, or relationships we now
"know" to be different? Is there a GenBank taxonomic advisory committee
trying to address the issues? Are there any documents on this subject?
Anyone I could contact for an insight scoop?

Anything from personal rants or laudatios to guides to other sources would
be highly appreciated. FYI this ties into developments of unique digital
identifiers for so-called "taxonomic concepts" (TDWG, etc.).

Nico Franz

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