Errors = phantom names on the Internet

Knut Rognes knut at ROGNES.NO
Tue Mar 28 22:31:52 CST 2006

The danger with not deleting the phantom record (only annotating it) is
that many people will not read the annotation. In the present case you have
to scroll down a couple of times to find it. And it is this type of people
who are likely to use the NameBank to create "lists" of species for some
reason, like the non-expert people who created the records  mentioned by
Chris: WikiPedia under Pollenia (made by non-experts) as well as at the
University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web site. In case it is left in the
bank from now on, there is thus an obvious possibility that it will spread
further, also to the printed world. I vote for deletion of phantom records.
Knut Rognes

At 14:43 28.03.2006 -0500, christian thompson wrote:
>We all make mistakes. And today an old one of mine was discovered by a
>I do not know how I did it or whether some one else on my team did it, but
>we created a phantom name. Pollenia pseudobscura Rognes, 1985. That was
>done back in the late 1980s when we were building the Nearctic Diptera
>Database. That dataset was passed along to ITIS via NODC in 1992. From
>ITIS the name passed to Species2000 and GBIF ECAT, and also to uBio. Today
>Knut Rognes called our attention to the error.
>My reaction was just to DELETE the bogus data record. It was a mistake.
>The name has never existed in the printed literature***. AND our record is
>clearly marked as a WORKING record, not peer-reviewed, not available for
>public use, etc.
>However, my colleague, David Remsen, has said we should annotate the name
>record and retain this error.
>So, I wonder what others think? Should we delete database errors? or leave
>them in with appropriate annotations?
>When thinking about that, I should note that I did GOOGLE this "phantom"
>name and got 10 hits. There was 1 for ITIS, a couple of uBio, but most
>interesting is the name is now in WikkiPedia under Pollenia as well as at
>the University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web site.
>*** the BDWD is interested only in indexing SCIENTIFIC nomenclature and
>since the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature remains largely
>restricted to PRINTed medium and the Internet is excluded, we do not index
>the Internet / WWW.
>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

More information about the Taxacom mailing list