[tdwg-content] DwC taxonomic terms

"Markus Döring (GBIF)" mdoering at gbif.org
Tue Aug 25 01:15:31 CEST 2009

I think this is based on the different understanding of the other IDs  
we are having.
If ScientificNameID is purely for the name as the term suggests, I do  
agree with you that taxonConceptID is still needed. But as me and  
David have argued we would prefer a wider definition closer to the  
originally suggested taxonID (which was turned into scientificNameID  
at some point). An identifier for anything that is described by the  
taxonomic terms, let it be a name, a taxon (concept) or any other use  
of a name. So the same name effectively can have different IDs if it  
has been used in different places, thereby representing different  
taxonomic concepts. This would make the conceptID superflous. If the  
taxon(Concept)ID is to take on this role and the scientificNameID is a  
purely nomenclatural name identifier only, I am with you.

One thing I would like to avoid very much though is that some ID terms  
would refer to the scientificNameID (like originalNameID) while others  
like the higherTaxonID would reference the taxonConceptID.
I think it all becomes a lot simpler if there is a single taxon/nameID  
for all purpuses. Similarly I dont think we would want a separate  
occurrenceID, specimenID and fossilID.


On Aug 25, 2009, at 0:55, John R. WIECZOREK wrote:

> While thinking further in trying to implement the suggested changes
> another question occurred to me. The recommendation was made in Issue
> #48 to remove taxonConceptID. If it is removed, how would anyone be
> able to capture the proposition that a given specimen was a member of
> a circumscription identified by a registered (having a resolvable
> GUID) taxon concept? I pose that one could not, because we would be
> left only with name terms. Unless I'm getting something wrong, I
> believe this term cannot be removed.
> On Thu, Aug 6, 2009 at 5:31 AM, Markus Döring<m.doering at mac.com>  
> wrote:
>> Dear John & DwC friends,
>> after finally having time to review the current dwc terms again I  
>> came
>> across a couple of issues I'd like to see discussed or even  
>> changed. I
>> am working for nearly 1 year now with the new terms during their
>> development, especially with the new and modified taxonomic terms. So
>> far they work very well in practice, but there are a few improvements
>> I can think of, mostly related to the latest changes shortly before
>> the public review started. I have added them as separate issues to  
>> the
>> google code site, but list them here in one go. The number of issues
>> is larger than I hoped for, but most of them are minor terminology
>> issues for consistency and not touching the core meaning of the  
>> terms.
>> Markus
>> ---
>> #47   rename basionym(ID) to originalName(ID)
>> http://code.google.com/p/darwincore/issues/detail?id=47
>> The intend for this term is really to reflect where a name originally
>> comes from in case it is a recombination. The term basionym is mostly
>> used with botanists and covers only the cases when an epithet remains
>> the same, i.e. not replacement names. The best matching, broader term
>> therefore is originalName I think. Changes have to be done to both  
>> the
>> verbatim name and the ID.
>> Good examples for synonyms, basionyms, replaced names etc can be  
>> found
>> in this document:
>> http://www.peabody.yale.edu/other/PROTEM/TAXSIG/taxonomy_synonyms_examples.pdf
>> ---
>> #48   remove taxonConceptID
>> http://code.google.com/p/darwincore/issues/detail?id=48
>> The conceptID is intended to state that 2 name usages / potential  
>> taxa
>> are the same, even if they use a different name. This is a special
>> case of true concept relations and I would much prefer to see this
>> covered in a dedicated extension treating all concept relations,
>> especially frequent cases such as includes, overlaps, etc. I am more
>> than willing to define such an extension
>> ---
>> #49   rename scientificNameID, acceptedScientificNameID and
>> higherTaxonNameID
>> http://code.google.com/p/darwincore/issues/detail?id=49
>> no matter what the final term names are I think the 3 ones should be
>> consistent. Originally it was intended to call them   taxonID,
>> acceptedTaxonID and higherTaxonID
>> with a loose definition of a taxon, more based on the idea of that  
>> all
>> terms here are taxonomic terms and therefore contain taxon in their
>> name. The current version  scientificNameID, acceptedScientificNameID
>> and higherTaxonNameID intends to do the same I believe, but the
>> terminology invites people to use them not referring to each other
>> from what I have seen so far in practice.
>> Concrete recomendations:
>> #49a   replace scientificNameID with nameUsageID
>> There is the need to uniquely identify a taxon concept with a given
>> name, a name usage. A nameID suggests the name is unique which it  
>> isnt
>> if combined with an sec reference aka taxonAccordingTo. A taxonID
>> suggests to refer to a distinct taxon concept. A name usage seems the
>> smallest entity and can therefore be used to act as a sort of unique
>> key for names, taxa, taxon concepts or just usages of a name. All
>> other taxonomic dwc ID terms can and should point to a name usage id
>> then. This makes me think if most/all other IDs should reflect this  
>> in
>> their names, see below.
>> It could make sense to keep scientificNameID as a ID to the name as
>> defined by a nomenclator. But this ID can also be used as a name  
>> usage
>> id, so in order to gain clarity I would prefer to have the term  
>> removed.
>> #49b rename acceptedScientificName(ID) to acceptedNameUsage(ID)
>> this term should point to the name usage that reflects the "accepted"
>> taxon in case of synonyms, no matter if they are objective or
>> subjective. AcceptedScientificName sounds more like a nomenclatural
>> exercise and in accordance with #3 (nameUsageID) the term
>> acceptedNameUsage(ID) would be the best fit in my eyes.
>> #49c rename higherTaxonName(ID) to higherNameUsage(ID)
>> in consistency with nameUsage & acceptedNameUsage
>> ---
>> #50 remove recommendation to concatenate multiple values, especially
>> for higherTaxonName/higherNameUsage
>> http://code.google.com/p/darwincore/issues/detail?id=50
>> similar to originalName or acceptedNameUsage this term is meant to be
>> a verbatim pointer to the higher taxon as an alternative way of using
>> higherTaxonNameID. Therefore it should only contain a single name,  
>> the
>> direct parent, in my eyes. There are also already the 7 mayor ranks  
>> as
>> separate terms that can be used to express a flattened hierarchy.
>> I am aware DwC suggests to use concatenated lists in a single term in
>> other places, e.g. , but I believe it would be better to keep the
>> meaning singular and use multiple instances of that term to express
>> multiple values. Dublin Core also recommends to use multiple XML
>> elements for multiple values, see recommendation 5 in http://dublincore.org/documents/dc-xml-guidelines/
>> ---
>> #51 rename namePublicationID to namePublishedInID
>> http://code.google.com/p/darwincore/issues/detail?id=51
>> for consistency with namePublishedIn
>> ---
>> #52 rename (verbatim)scientificNameRank to (verbatim)rank
>> http://code.google.com/p/darwincore/issues/detail?id=52
>> to avoid discussions about whether the rank belongs to the name or  
>> the
>> taxon and also because its nice and short and there is no clash in
>> biological terminology.
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