[Taxacom] Dealing with database errors

Tony.Rees at csiro.au Tony.Rees at csiro.au
Fri Aug 24 15:48:35 CDT 2012

Hi David,

I agree there should be a "contact us" or "contact responsible editor" button/link with any source of web-based taxonomic information. (Memo to self: see how easy such a link is to find on my own site/s...). Most times when I have used such a facility, the editors in question are pleased to have errors notified to them so that they can be corrected at source (a separate question is then the fate of the uncorrected copies still in circulation).

Meanwhile you will find the "name" "Ens Pilsbry 1911" included in the global names index (GNI), aspiring to be the most complete aggregator of taxonomic names, here:

A couple of clicks will then get you to the source of this record in GNI which is the uBio NameBank (a precursor of GNI, with a similar "aggregator" role), which has the following record:


and points to this as the data source:


This is a page on the micro*scope site where the name (first?) appears.

Micro*scope has a "contact us" page and also an email address (microscope at mbl.edu) which maybe David Patterson can advise whether it is still current - the micro*scope project appears to have ceased in 2006 but maybe can still be updated (similarly with uBio I understand).

I think in this case an email to the data source/s as identified above would be the best course of action, also possibly (and if time/enthusiasm permits) to any other major parties who may also be displaying this name, provided that you are sure it is erroneous.


Tony Rees, Hobart
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of David Campbell [pleuronaia at gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, 25 August 2012 2:03 AM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom]  Dealing with database errors

Does anyone happen to know a good way to track down and correct the
source of an error appearing, without documentation, across multiple
taxonomic databases?

"Ens" is not a genus of Lymnaeidae (Gastropoda).  One database seemed
to attribute it to Pilsbry, 1911, which suggests that it is a
computer-generated error for Pectinidens, a valid name in Lymnaeidae.

In general, chasing down a "contact us" link in the existing databases
is not very easy.  Not that they should accept any suggested change
that comes along, either, but making it easy to alert about a problem
would greatly facilitate improvement.

Dr. David Campbell
Visiting Professor
Department of Natural Sciences
Gardner-Webb University
Boiling Springs NC 28017


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