[tdwg-content] DwC taxonomic terms

John R. WIECZOREK tuco at berkeley.edu
Fri Sep 11 00:58:26 CEST 2009

Comments inline.

On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 3:19 PM, Richard Pyle<deepreef at bishopmuseum.org> wrote:
> Thanks!
>> dwc:occurrenceID=BPBM-13492
>> dwc:collectionCode=BPBM
>> dwc:catalogNumber=13492
>> dwc:scientificName=Centropyge flavicauda Fraser-Brunner 1933
>> dwc:acceptedTaxon=Centropyge fisheri (Snyder 1904)
> Actually, according to the current definitions, you would need to split up
> scientificName into:
> dwc:scientificName=Centropyge flavicauda
> dwc:scientificNameAuthorship=Fraser-Brunner 1933
> ..which is a bit out of phase with:
> dwc:acceptedTaxon=Centropyge fisheri (Snyder 1904)
> [allowed by the current definitions]
> One of my suggestions would be to treat these in a consistent fashion;
> something like:
> scientificName
> scientificNameAuthorship
> acceptedName
> acceptedNameAuthorship

Authorship is permissible in scientificName. The current working
definition for scientificName is:

"The taxon name (with date and authorship information if applicable).
When forming part of an Identification, this should be the name in
lowest level taxonomic rank that can be determined. This term should
not contain identification qualifications, which should instead be
supplied in the IdentificationQualifier term."

while the current working definition of acceptedTaxon is:

"The full scientific name of the currently valid (zoological) or
accepted (botanical) taxon."

So, they are already consistent.

>> if I understand you correct the orignal name is the one for
>> the accepted name.
>> So I cannot state this in the above record, as it would mean
>> the original name of C. flavicauda
> Right -- that's another one of the things I'm getting at.  Does originalName
> apply to what it is identified as, or does it apply to the acceptedTaxon?
> If they are different, then which one is implied by the originalName? I
> gather from your statement above that they apply explicitly to the
> scientificName (not acceptedTaxon), so that should probably be explicitly
> indicated in the definitions.

The current working definition for originalTaxonName already contains
the reference to scientificName, but clearly this description could be

"The name originally given to a taxon when it was first
correctly/legitimately published under the rules of the appropriate
code. The basionym (botany) or basonym (bacteriology) of the
scientificName or the senior/earlier homonym for replaced names."

>> I would have to create another taxon record:
>> dwc:scientificName=Centropyge fisheri (Snyder 1904)
>> dwc:acceptedTaxon=Centropyge fisheri (Snyder 1904)
>> dwc:originalName= Holacanthus fisheri Snyder 1904
> Right -- so presumably these would be returned by resolving scientificNameID
> that is included on the specimen record, and would not themselves be
> included within the resultset for the specimen record.  In other words, the
> specimen record would give me scientificNameID, and resolving that ID would
> give me the three pieces of information you list above -- correct?

The specimen record could contain all three of those fields populated
with the values shown, as well as the scientificNameID, the
acceptedTaxonNameID, and the originalTaxonNameID, however, the
specimen record would not be required to have any of them.

>> The problem here is that I dont think it is a good idea to
>> mix occurrence and taxon records in one dataset.
> Agreed!!  That's actually the real point I was heading towards.  We need the
> terms, and I think they all belong in dwc, but we need to be clear to people
> in what context those terms should be used.  It's not clear to me how the
> data providers will know which terms to populate for occurrence records, and
> which are intended only for taxon name records.  Is there some sort of
> specification within DwC that makes this distinction?  My apologies for
> cluttering the list if it exists, and I simply missed it.

No, by design and happily, DwC defers implementation to implementors.
I see perfectly good use cases for passing or storing occurrence
records with the full taxon information already resolved (think GBIF

>> But they could easily be separate datasets for specimen and taxa.
>> Also you could use ID terms instead of the verbatim one,
>> which is less error prone and cleaner to grasp:
> Yes, exactly.

You could, and your colleague could do so without the IDs. We can't
force anyone to publish what they don't have.

> Aloha,
> Rich
> P.S. I am perfectly happy to do the work on writing the definitions, but I
> don't want to do that if I misunderstand the intended purpose of these
> terms.

I think we need better access to the spreadsheet at
or we need to move the work to
http://code.google.com/p/darwincore/wiki/Taxon until it gets fully
resolved and included in the post-public review version I am eager to

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