[Taxacom] Definition of Checklist

David Remsen dremsen at gbif.org
Tue Feb 12 10:19:39 CST 2008


Dear Taxacom-ers

Can someone guide me with some terminology issues.  My problem is what  
appears to be a wide range of definitions for the term "checklist"  I  
am working to define a set of metadata elements that describe  
checklists as are provided to GBIF within the ECAT programme and these  
lists appear to have a wide range of contexts.

At the simple end we have flat lists of species that fall within a  
regional or thematic context.  These may or may not have reference to  
a source taxonomic authority.   Some of these lists may group the  
species list within a classification hierarchy such as the IUCN  
redlist does.  Do these fall within a consensus definition of checklist?

A nomenclator may provide a list of taxon names that provide verified  
nomenclatural metadata but there is no assumed taxonomic component.   
Can such a list be referred to as a checklist?  Does it need  
additional qualifiers?

A taxonomic checklist may be a flat list of verified species names.   
It may be organized within a classification.  There may be summarized  
synonymies or fully annotated taxon circumscriptions.  Is there some  
cutoff for what constitutes a checklist and what might be referred to  
by some other term?

Apologies if these are well-worn questions.

Thank you, David
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David Remsen, Senior Programme Officer
Electronic Catalog of Names of Known Organisms
Global Biodiversity Information Facility Secretariat
Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Tel: +45-35321472   Fax: +45-35321480
Skype: dremsen
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