[Taxacom] Flower Pickers 1, Music Lovers 0

Beach, James H. beach at ku.edu
Fri Oct 28 14:22:50 CDT 2016

The seemingly entrenched issue of non-unique biodiversity collection and institution codes makes many people in the community grimace, including me. 

But it also makes me smile about the time in the 1990s when our local National Public Radio (NPR) station (call sign: "KANU") sent a letter to our university herbarium (collection code: "KANU") to tell us to stop infringing on their namespace.   

The KU Herbarium was founded in 1866, NPR's KANU outlet started broadcasting in 1952.   We (i.e. Meredith Lane) asserted precedence from first use--and the music lovers backed away slowly.  

Score one for the flower pickers!    

James H. Beach
Biodiversity Institute
University of Kansas
1345 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
Office: 785-864-4645
Cell: 785-331-8508

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2016 17:18:11 +0000
From: "Schindel, David" <schindeld at si.edu>
To: John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com>, taxacom
	<taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Museum abbreviations thanks
	<4866E95BB74D234F856C7FA91A53828142D0B7C8 at SI-MSEDAG03.US.SINET.SI.EDU>
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These "abbreviations" correspond to institutionCodes and collectionCodes in the Darwin Core Standard.  While these concepts are reasonably clear the implementation has been fragmented.  Many communities of taxonomists have proceeded independent of each other to create their own "standard" lists of unique codes.  As we noted in our Biodiversity Data Journal, when these lists are combined we find a significant number of cases where the same code is used by multiple institutions, or a code is used by an institution and by one collection within it.  As a result, the code attached to a specimen in a publication can be ambiguous.  It's another frustrating case of taxonomists working in taxon-bounded silos rather than as part of a larger enterprise.

David Schindel

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