Globally Unique Identifier

Richard Pyle deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG
Wed Oct 6 00:56:55 CEST 2004

Not enough time to respond in full, but one comment:

> I am more reserved about demands to provide a central registry for
> taxon concepts (or "derived/secondary" taxon concepts, if the
> nomenclatural act of creating a name itself is considered a taxon
> concept as well):

My solution to this, which I will describe in more detail in my presentation
at TDWG, is to assign the GUID to every "Name+Reference" instance
("Reference" here defined broadly; not restricted to publications).  A
susbset of these instances will be "name-bearing" instances (i.e., "original
taxonomic descriptions"), recursively serving as the "Name" part of the
Name+Reference instances.  Another (overlapping) susbset of these would be
"concept-bearing" instances.  Still others may simply be specimen
determination labels.  They all represent a documented use of a taxonomic
name by a human (or set of humans).  The idea is that taxonomic names do not
exist outside of a usage context, and that the usage context is usually
objectively discernable and "reusable" (and as such, well-suited for shared
universal GUID assigment).  Keeping it broad and simple like this allows the
same GUID pool to be used for a variety of applications (handles to names
and concepts, for the purposes of constructing nomenclatural synonymies,
mapping concepts, applying names/concepts to specimens, etc.)



Richard L. Pyle, PhD
Natural Sciences Database Coordinator, Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, HI 96817
Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252
email: deepreef at

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