Taxonomic Search Engine - web services and LSIDs

Roderic D. M. Page at BIO.GLA.AC.UK
Tue Oct 12 02:12:04 CEST 2004

As a test of various tools for querying multiple taxonomic name
databases I've created a "Taxonomic Search Engine"
( ) that may be of

The site will search external databases (currently ITIS, Index
Fungorum, IPNI, and uBio) for a name. If it finds the name, you can
click on the name to get more details, including a link to the
original web site that provided the name.

Some examples to try are "Morus", "Physeter macrocephalus", and "Apus apus".

Behind the scenes the application talks to each database in turn and
outputs the result in a consistent format (or, as consistent as the
very different database outputs will allow).

The search engine also outputs Life Science Identifiers (LSIDs) for
each name. Followers of recent discussions on "GUIDs" (Globally
Unique Identifiers) for taxonomic names will know that LSIDs are one
candidate for assigning a GUID to a name. The search engine provides
one way to explore the utility of LSIDs (including links to tools for
viewing them).

I'd welcome comments/feedback. Future plans include adding more
databases and improving search performance using caching.


Rod Page

Professor Roderic D. M. Page
Editor Elect, Systematic Biology
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QP
United Kingdom

Phone:    +44 141 330 4778
Fax:      +44 141 330 2792
email: at

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