[Taxacom] validation of taxon names

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Tue Feb 14 15:02:19 CST 2012

Hi Armand,
Your question opens a familiar "can of worms", as we say!
Currently, there is no comprehensive source of validated scientific names, and certain vagueness in some ICZN Code articles makes it unlikely that there could ever be a robust notion of name availability.
I work on Wikispecies to create something akin to what you want, except that I try to make the names verifiable by the user, rather than just saying "you can trust me". Hence, it involves work on the part of the user. Most users want someone else to do the work, and to be "spoon fed" with validated names, but this just isn't realistic ...


 From: Armand Turpel <armand.turpel.mnhn at gmail.com>
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu 
Sent: Tuesday, 14 February 2012 9:42 PM
Subject: [Taxacom] validation of taxon names

We have a database with over 80000 species taxon names which we want to 
compare and validate against other databases. Doing this job isn’t very 

1. The majority of organizations only provide web interfaces to search 
for single taxon names.
2. Copyrights of data are some times not very clear
3. Quality of data is doubtful. >
- Lamia amputator Guérin-Méneville, 1844
- Lamia amputator Guerin-Meneville, 1844
- Lamia amputator Guérin-Méneville
- …...

The only organization we know that provide its whole database for 
download is species2000 (catalogue of life > COL). We created a 
postgresql version for the COL data from which it is possible to compare 
a big number of taxon names in one run. Postgresql provide good fuzzy 
string algorithms. But the COL data isn’t error free and it isn’t 
complete for our region.

The question is: Which organization provide trustful, complete (as 
possible) and full accessible data?




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