Getapplet | Download application | Screen shots  | Java platforms | Download server | Server requirements | Related links | Contact
Root of this site

A Communication Model amongst Taxonomists

A taxon, or more precisely each taxon concept, is created and then named by a taxonomist(s). Names of taxa are a major tool for taxonomic communication, including notes in a taxonomist's research notebook, i.e. self communication. A nomenclature detabase design, therefore, must consider communication between taxonomists and the role of names within it.

An author proposes a taxon by studying a number of its instances including specimens (if the taxon is a species or lower) or lower taxa (for taxon higher than species). The author gives a name to the taxon and the name appears printed in a publication. A reader of the publication, who may be reading it long after the death of the author, finds the printed name. The description in the publication is an abstract form of the original taxon concept (left oval) that the author had in mind when the manuscript was written. The description is not a taxon concept itself. There is no direct link between the taxon concepts of the author and the reader (right oval), hence there is no way to verify that these two concepts are identical, even if they are considering the same physical specimens.

Top of this section

Please send your feedback to: