GUIDs for Taxon Names and Taxon Concepts

Roger Hyam roger at TDWG.ORG
Wed Nov 9 16:51:02 CET 2005


I have been rattling off messages in between meetings over the last
couple of days responding to points on the list only to find later that
they have been bouncing. I will try again and respond to Rich's point
here and Yde's in another post - and hope one of them get onto the list!

Rich - yes. I think you sum up the difference between new combinations
in ICZN and ICBN well. But... just because the ICZN does not consider
the usage of a name in a different genus as a nomenclatural act does not
stop us creating a data object (TaxonName object) to represent what that
name looks like in the new genus - perhaps with its new ending and
possibly different author string (ICZN Recommendation 51G).  Data
structures can be used to represent things in life that have the same
structure not that necessarily have the same meaning. So two types of names:

   1. Really honest to God nomenclatural acts ( zoological basionyms).
   2. New combinations we want to talk about (with references to basionyms).

but both represented with the same data structure. Both could have GUIDs.

Is there a parallel with autonyms under ICBN? People use autonyms so
should they have a GUID? But they are automatically created and mean
different things in different circumstances.

Hope this is helpful.



 Roger Hyam
 Technical Architect
 Taxonomic Databases Working Group
 roger at
 +44 1578 722782

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