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Database support for taxonomy

Raguenaud, C�dric; Kennedy, Jessie; Barclay, Peter J.

Authors

C�dric Raguenaud



Abstract

Taxonomists classify the organisms they study in order to refer to, identify and understand them. However, the same organism may at times be classified according to different taxonomic opinions and subsequently have several alternative names or be placed in different taxa. As alternative classifications multiply, biologists are commonly faced with the need to compare and contrast taxonomies in order to identify how they differ in their organisation. Thus there is a pressing need for computer systems that are capable of handling multiple taxonomies arising from the combination of legacy data, newly described taxa, modern revisions and conflicting opinions. Many database systems have been built to handle taxonomic data. We review taxonomic databases and show that they do not provide taxonomists with the necessary tools to support their work. A new model of taxonomy (the Prometheus Model) is defined in [PK99] 1 , and we now compare existing database technology to our requirements and show their strengths and weaknesses.

Report Type Research Report
Publication Date 1999
Deposit Date Apr 21, 2022
Public URL http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/Output/2865919