Research Output

Scientific names are ambiguous as identifiers for biological taxa: their context and definition are required for accurate data integration

  Biologists use scientific names to label the organisms described in
their data; however, these names are not unique identifiers for taxonomic entities.
Alternative taxonomic classifications may apply the same name, associated
with alternative definition or circumscription. Therefore, labelling data with scientific
names alone does not unambiguously distinguish alternative taxon
concepts. Accurate integration and comparison of biological data therefore requires
the resolution of taxon concepts as defined in alternative taxonomic classifications.
We have derived an abstract, inclusive model for the diverse
representations of taxonomic concepts used by taxonomists and in taxonomic
databases. This model has been implemented as a proposed standard XML
schema for the exchange and comparison of taxonomic concepts between data
providers and users. The representation and exchange of taxon definitions conformant
with this schema will facilitate the development of taxonomic
name/concept resolution services, allowing the meaningful integration and
comparison of biological datasets, with greater accuracy than on the basis of
name alone.

  • Date:

    30 November 2004

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    Springer-Verlag

  • DOI:

    10.1007/11530084_8

Citation

Kennedy, J., Kukla, R. & Paterson, T. (2004). Scientific names are ambiguous as identifiers for biological taxa: their context and definition are required for accurate data integration. In Ludaescher, B. & Raschid, L. (Eds.). Data Integration in the Life Sciences, 80-95. doi:10.1007/11530084_8. ISBN 3-540-27967-9

Authors

Keywords

Biology; Scientific names; Taxonomy; Comparative taxonomic classification; XML data sharing schema; Taxonomic application;

Available Documents