Questions and Suggestions to the ongoing discussion

Roderic Page at BIO.GLA.AC.UK
Mon Sep 19 16:07:06 CEST 2005

On 19 Sep 2005, at 12:59, Michael Malicky wrote:

> ad. 3)
> Just a simple statement, as Peter already pointed out, by using
> Linnean code carefully and with high quality within
> our databases, we have already a working GUID in place! The thing
> Linne has already invented. IMHO it is only a
> question of database quality, whether the info given is a realy GUID
> or only a part of it.

Existing taxonomic names are not GUIDs (Globally Unique Identifiers),
in that they are not always globally unique. There are numerous generic
and higher level names that are the same for plants and animals, and
even some species names, e.g. Agathis montana, which is the name of
both a wasp and a tree. Failure to grasp this point has doomed some
efforts to put taxonomy on the web, such as Wikispecies
(, and the Tree of Life
pages ( These sites use names to identify
pages, leaving them open to the problem of homonyms.



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