[Taxacom] Real time batch spell checking of scientific names now available via IRMNG

David Campbell pleuronaia at gmail.com
Tue Oct 29 10:21:09 CDT 2013

Such error checking is a very useful resource.  Spelling errors are quite
common on museum labels, not to mention the new errors introduced when the
labels are copied, especially by anyone not well acquainted with the taxa
in question, Latin roots, and the vagaries of handwriting.  Publications
likewise reflect varying levels of knowledge of the names.

An important part of name checking, however, requires also recognizing
other likely mistakes.  Examples include mental lapses such as using the
wrong synonymous root or an incorrect but somehow associated genus name.
Also, the closest known spelling may in fact be in a completely different
taxon - some idea of what the specimen actually is will be critical to
tracking down the correct identity.  Yet again, taxonomic expertise will be
required alongside of the benefits of computing technology.

On Tue, Oct 29, 2013 at 2:28 AM, <Tony.Rees at csiro.au> wrote:

> Dear Taxacomers,
> Mindful of the present round of acronym-bashing, I thought I might let you
> know of a useful new feature added today to my own aggregated biodiversity
> database "IRMNG": real-time spelling correction of multiple supplied
> species names (previously this feature was only activated on single
> supplied names for performance reasons, to avoid potentially lengthy
> delays, now worked around).
> Here's how to use it:
> - Take a list of species names including potentially misspelled ones (can
> also have authorities appended too as available), one per line, max. around
> 1,500-2,000 at a time depending on word length.
> ** Here is an example small set of real world marine species data I am
> currently working on for a user in my agency, from a field survey list,
> excluding names which already have an exact match in the main IRMNG list):
> Acanthophora glomerata
> Acrosterigma vlamigi
> Aeverrillia pilosa
> Alcospira rosea
> Alliodoris hedley
> Anadara articulata
> Ancilla cingulata
> Angula sphaeruia
> Anquipecten aurantiacus
> Arca avellana_MTQ
> Arca avellana_QMS
> Arcania foleolata
> Ashtoret planipes
> Australium tentoriformis
> Austrolabidia gracilipes
> Beania spinulosa
> Biflustra limosa
> Botryocladia skottsbergi
> Bufonia margaritula
> Bugula johnsoni
> Bursa thersites
> Calliostoma monile
> Callyspongia schultzi
> Cancilla fillaris
> Caulerpa urvilliana
> (and so on)
> - Go to the IRMNG data access page at
> http://www.cmar.csiro.au/datacentre/irmng/, copy-and-paste the list into
> the search box
> - Press "check species names"
> Look for "Species names not found" at the bottom (obviously, names found
> will be resolved first, however in this case there are none).
> After each name not found there will be information about whether at least
> the genus name is held in that form (for something, may not be the intended
> target of course) then either the nearest matching species name or names,
> or a "no match" message at species level. Click on any near match name to
> get the full taxonomic hierarchy, synonym status where known, and other
> information as presently held in the database.
> For the record IRMNG could not be built without drawing on other "names
> aggregator" activities (acronyms if you must) including Catalogue of Life
> (only 2006 version as yet), WoRMS (World register of Marine Species) and
> more - eventually also to include names from The Plant List when that data
> is re-usable as advised earlier today (thanks Rafaƫl!) -
> building on the efforts of their respective aggregators of course (since
> entering names individually would not be tractable). It is also not
> complete at this time (only 1.9 million species names held, lots including
> many fossil species and certain higher plants still missing), but will be
> added to further as time and resources may be available. Once I have all
> The Plant List data added plus more recent updates to Catalogue of Life
> included it should be useful to more people again.
> I hope at least some on this list may find this feature useful in your
> work and I am very happy for you to recommend the site to others as
> appropriate.
> Regards to all- Tony
> Dr Tony Rees
> Manager | Divisional Data Centre
> Marine and Atmospheric Research
> E Tony Rees at csiro.au T +61 3 6232 5318
> CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, GPO Box 1538, Hobart, TAS 7001,
> Australia
> www.cmar.csiro.au/datacentre
> Manager, OBIS Australia regional Node, http://www.obis.au
> LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tony-rees/18/770/36
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> Celebrating 26 years of Taxacom in 2013.

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

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