[tdwg-tnc] LSIDs and taxon concepts

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Fri Oct 5 14:58:25 CEST 2007

Hi Paul and others,

This leads me to a couple of questions about serving TCS data.  For example,
strictly speaking, ZooBank will be return metadata in accordance with the
(http://wiki.tdwg.org/twiki/bin/view/TAG/TaxonNameLsidVoc), which is based
on TCS, but is not TCS per se (ZooBank is concerned with taxon names, not
concepts). There is also the TaxonConceptLsidVoc
(http://wiki.tdwg.org/twiki/bin/view/TAG/TaxonConceptLsidVoc), which
together with the TaxonNameLsidVoc and other more genral ontologies,
collectively represent the same information as a TCS XML document.  I guess
that one of the things I'm not clear on is whether RDF returned for an LSID
counts as "TCS", or does TCS specifically mean a document structured
according to the TCS XML Schema?

Also, what are we really serving when we say we're serving TCS documents?
Name-only data is part of TCS, but I wouldn't think of it as TCS per se.  I
think you need it in the cntext of an "accordingTo" instance.  (By the way
-- Roger -- I'd always thought of "accordingTo" as referring to a
PublicationCitation, not an Actor or Team.  A topic of discussion for
another day...

But my point is, I've got hundreds of thousands of database records for
[Name accordingTo Publication], which each represent a pointer to a taxon
concept (that is, "concept" sensu Kennedy, not sensu Pyle).  And for many of
these, I also have information on synonymies within the Publication (i.e.,
taxon concepts defined at the resolution of names, which means at the
implied resolution of type specimens).  What I don't have, however, is
robust sets of "taxon concept" records that go into more specific detail
regarding the definition of the concept itself (in terms of non-type
specimens and/or character data, for example).  Also, I don't have much in
the way of third-party RelationshipAssertions to define how these alternate
concepts map to each other.

This leads to the question I've been meaning to ask, which is "How much
information do I need before I call it a TCS document?"  I would say raw
names data alone don't cut it -- you would need at least an "accordingTo"
before you could call it a concept/TCS document.  But if all I have as an
accordingTo (with no additional specimens or characters or
RelationshipAssertions), do I still call it TCS?

Sorry if I'm over-thinking this...


> -----Original Message-----
> From: tdwg-tnc-bounces at lists.tdwg.org 
> [mailto:tdwg-tnc-bounces at lists.tdwg.org] On Behalf Of Paul Allen
> Sent: Friday, October 05, 2007 2:11 AM
> To: tdwg-tnc at lists.tdwg.org
> Subject: [tdwg-tnc] LSIDs and taxon concepts
> Hi all,
> I'm new to this list and hope that the following are 
> appropriate questions. 
> In Bratislava, I wasn't keeping detailed enough notes on 
> projects and their current and future plans wrt TCS.
> What sites are currently publishing TCS-formatted data or 
> will be within the year? I know that zoobank.org will be 
> publishing TCS data in the near future. Is GBIF? ITIS? Species2000?
> What sites are publishing real "taxon concept" data (in TCS 
> format or not)? 
> Conversely, what sites are simply publishing "nominal taxon 
> concepts" as opposed to detailed authoritative taxon concepts?
> Is this the kind of thing for which we should generate a 
> survey to send to sites (i.e. their plans for publishing TCS) 
> or distrubute to TDWG members?
> Thanks,
> Paul
> ------------------------
> Paul Allen, Assistant Director
> Information Science             pea1 at cornell.edu
> Cornell Lab of Ornithology     (800) 843-BIRD
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