A step back

Sally Hinchcliffe S.Hinchcliffe at KEW.ORG
Thu Nov 17 14:06:13 CET 2005

Apologies if this has been done already, but do we need to nail down
(some of) the problems before we get too detailed a handle on the
I looked on the wiki & Donald has put a few use cases up plus some
people have contributed examples of ID use in their organisation (and
I'm gathering reponses for all the relevant systems at Kew). However
it's pretty patchy and I would like to get some more concrete
examples up if we can

Just off the top of my head this morning I came up with a number of
cases where GUIDs might be used both for specimens and for taxon-type-
things. They might not all be strictly relevant but in all those
cases I would say that whatever GUID system we come up with, GUIDs
are either going to have to make these cases easier for people to
deal with, or not significantly harder, if they are going to be any
use and/or accepted by the community. I'm not sure that these are
'use cases' as such in any technical sense but hopefully they will be
a start
I haven't gone beyond the titles yet but I thought I'd get them out
in circulation to be added to or expanded & I am happy to fill in
with some more details as & when I get time. Meanwhile if anyone else
wants to put flesh on these bones, or provide more and different
bones, then feel free:

Potential situations where name or taxon guids could be used:

1. Maintaining onward links from one database to another
2. Including names in databases - (whether taxonomic, specimen, value
added taxon, oe other databases); maintaining a local 'lookup' table
for names in such a database.
3. publishing nomenclatural novelties
4. Maintaining a Nomenclator or other database that aggregates taxon
concepts coming from other sources.
5. searching for information about a taxon
6. naming (determining) specimens
7. submitting research related to a taxon or taxa to a journal, or
publishing it on a website
8. creating a monograph or otherwise publishing new concepts
9. putting together a flora (excuse botanical bias)
10. Referencing existing concepts in new publications.

Potential situations where specimen guids could be used:
1. Collecting a new specimen in the field (or curating a newly
collected specimen once it arrives in a museum).
2. Databasing a legacy specimen
3. Converting a set of already databased specimens to use GUIDs
4. Porting data from one collection database to another
5. Sending out catalogue data along with gifts and loans of specimens
(a la HISPID)
6. Tracking CBD requirements through the life of a specimen - or
lives (for example seed is collected for the seedbank under a
restrictive use agreement, seed is grown, plant is vouchered, voucher
subsequently used in medical research ...)
7. Taking a voucher for another piece of research - e.g. a sequence
deposited in GenBank
8. One specimen generates another (e.g. taking DNA from a living
specimen, making slides, growing plants from seed and then vouchering
9. Imaging a specimen - whether once or many times
10. sending out duplicates of collections to multiple institutions
11. merging two collections, splitting a collection in two
12. specimen database aggregators - whether virtual like GBIF or
actual, where data is physically ported into a duplicate system and
potentially new ids give.
13. Creating a type (by publishing a name based on a specimen), or
identifying a type specimen as being a type.
14. Publishing a monograph that cites additional non-type specimens,
or a flora
15. Fulfilling CITES paperwork for transfer of specimens abroad.
16. Discarding a specimen or noting that it has been destroyed
17. Removing a specimen from the public gaze or some classes of user
(e.g. removing it from GBIF)

Some of these overlap, some may not be relevant & I'm sure I've
missed some out but ...
*** Sally Hinchcliffe
*** Computer section, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
*** tel: +44 (0)20 8332 5708
*** S.Hinchcliffe at rbgkew.org.uk

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