Scientific names are ambiguous as identifiers for biological taxa: their context and definition are required for accurate data integration

Kennedy, Jessie, Kukla, Robert and Paterson, Trevor (2005) Scientific names are ambiguous as identifiers for biological taxa: their context and definition are required for accurate data integration. In: Data Integration in the Life Sciences. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 3615 . Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 80-95. ISBN 3-540-27967-9

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Biologists use scientific names to label the organisms described in
their data; however, these names are not unique identifiers for taxonomic entities.
Alternative taxonomic classifications may apply the same name, associated
with alternative definition or circumscription. Therefore, labelling data with scientific
names alone does not unambiguously distinguish alternative taxon
concepts. Accurate integration and comparison of biological data therefore requires
the resolution of taxon concepts as defined in alternative taxonomic classifications.
We have derived an abstract, inclusive model for the diverse
representations of taxonomic concepts used by taxonomists and in taxonomic
databases. This model has been implemented as a proposed standard XML
schema for the exchange and comparison of taxonomic concepts between data
providers and users. The representation and exchange of taxon definitions conformant
with this schema will facilitate the development of taxonomic
name/concept resolution services, allowing the meaningful integration and
comparison of biological datasets, with greater accuracy than on the basis of
name alone.

Item Type: Book Section
Print ISSN: 0302-9743
ISBN: 3-540-27967-9
Electronic ISSN: 1611-3349
Additional Information: This paper was delivered in 2005 during the Ontologies Session at the Data Integration in the Life Sciences (DILS) conference in San Diego, California, USA.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biology; Scientific names; Taxonomy; Comparative taxonomic classification; XML data sharing schema; Taxonomic application;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Computing
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 000 Computer science, information & general works > 000 Computer science, knowledge & systems > 004 Data processing & computer science
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology > 570 Life sciences; biology
Library of Congress Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Item ID: 3027
Depositing User: Computing Research
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2009 17:06
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2013 11:01

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