[Taxacom] validation of taxon names

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Sun Feb 19 14:14:49 CST 2012

> Dragging it back a bit, my list of five services I think would be useful
> 1. Is this a name?


> 2. Is this the correct way to write it?

IPNI/Tropicos/Index Fungorum/MycoBank/ List of Bacteria
Names/ZooBank/Systema Dipterorum/Catalog of Fishes/Hymenoptera Name

> 3. Is this name currently in use?

CoL/ITIS/various GSDs/WikiSpecies

> 4. What other names are related to this name (e.g., synonyms, lexical
> variants)?


> 5. Where was this name published? Can I see that publication?

IPNI/Tropicos/Index Fungorum/MycoBank/ List of Bacteria Names/
ZooBank/etc./etc. + GNUB/WikiSpecies/etc. --> BHL/PLAZI

> I still think most of this is pretty straightforward to do.

In principle it is.  Technically it is.  But, somehow, it hasn't happened
(yet).  Maybe -- with a bit more development and integration of the alphabet
soup (only a tiny fraction of which is listed above) -- we can begin to see
glimmers of success.  I'm convinced the vision is there.  Some of the money
is there.  And certainly the technology is there.  We just need to figure
out how to connect the dots.

> Number 3 could
> perhaps be best phrased as  "what name should I use?." As much as we
> might dislike the question (there will often be multiple possible names,
> some argument about which to use), I suspect many uses don't care about
> these minor details, they want a name to use for their purposes.

I totally agree.  Hence my suggestion of the integration of meta-authorities
(CoL/etc.), and the development of an "I'm Feeling Lucky" algorithm (which,
I would presume, would rely in large part on the meta-authorities).

> There also seems to be an undercurrent of "this taxonomy stuff is really
> hard, we can't automate this stuff because taxonomists have special
> knowledge, etc.". There will always be hard cases that need expertise, but
> suspect a lot of the information users need can be computed.



Richard L. Pyle, PhD
Database Coordinator for Natural Sciences
Associate Zoologist in Ichthyology
Dive Safety Officer
Department of Natural Sciences, Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, HI 96817
Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252
email: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org

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