Summary of Nomenclature and GUIDs

Roderic Page at BIO.GLA.AC.UK
Fri Nov 11 08:12:21 CET 2005

> A detail I would like to discuss  within this context in the near  
> future is the best possible way to link species names to genetic  
> resources (e.g. DNA barcodes).

Well, the simplest way is if the genetic resources themselves have  
GUIDs (such as an LSID, provides some for NCBI, and I'm  
playing with this as well). Then one simply adds one or more tags to  
the metadata associated with the resource. For example, using RDF a DNA  
sequence could have a tag such as

<dc:source rdf:resource="" />

indicating it comes from the taxonomy with NCBI's TaxId 345788.

For the taxon one could use a tag like

rdf:resource="" />

indicating that sequence AF234577 comes from this taxon [both LSIDs are  
made up, I could create functional ones if it woulod help the  

The "dc" and "dcterms" are from the Dublin Core namespace  
( This illustrates a point I've made elsewhere,  
but one of my biggest gripes about current XML efforts in taxonomy is  
the use of XML schema and custom namespaces for everything, whereas I  
think RDF is much leaner and we can employ existing namespaces for most  
(but not all) of what we need. Plus we can embed our efforts in a much  
larger community of projects. Again, I recommend keeping things simple  
and using existing standards wherever possible.



Professor Roderic D. M. Page
Editor, Systematic Biology
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University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QP
United Kingdom

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