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Servers - Name sources

NameBank data comes from hundreds of taxonomists, databases, and publications.

Names enter NameBank from a wide range of sources. A primary source of names come from members of the taxonomic community who often have their own specialized web sites. Indexing within uBio provides the means to redirect inquiries to more authoritative sources of information through our portal.

Names also come from collections of content where names may be recorded. Some of these names may be not be present within expert systems or may represent variations of names that are. Mapping theses together according to different concepts provides the means to bridge these differences.

We work with Species2000, Catalogue of Life, GBIF and ITIS (inter alia) and with individual taxonomists. We work with museums and libraries to catalog names within specimen collections and literature. A current uBio project involves a collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution in the digitial conversion of Index Animalium, a compendium of zoological species names. We have also undertaken the digital conversion of taxonomic catalogs and compendia to add to NameBank. Lexical variations and nomenclatural (unambiguous) synonyms are cataloged and mapped.

Let uBio index your catalog.

A list of names and link to your site go a long way. Mapping your site to our portal allows us to "advertise" expert systems within a more generalized search environment.

Vernacular names come from a wide range of sources including web sites, field guides, and taxonomic databases. All contributions are linked to source agents so that the use of these concepts can be linked to attribution mechanisms.

With our focus on developing tools for libraries and other stewards of natural science information, the scope of the name server is necessarily broad. Automated tools that can recognize scientific names among digitized text require an underlying data dictionary. In order to effect this we have established a goal of cataloging a comprehensive list of all valid genera names. We hope to have mapped 95% of all valid genera names by early 2004. The compilation of genera will enhance species name-recognition algorithms in the tools we are developing.


We are seeking offers of cooperation, especially with the insects - being the area in which we are currently active. Should you be interested in working with us please contact:

David J. Patterson for all taxa
Vr .R.E.M.J..-B. BEJSAK-COLLOREDO-MANSFELD for insects

What we would like to receive

At this time, our objective is to acquire global lists of generic names. The information can be provided as a tab-delimited text file (but database outputs, excel files, WORD and other document files are acceptable). The field structure should be:

  • Name of group
  • Family
  • (Other ranks)
  • Genus name
  • (Genus Authority)
  • (Species name)
  • (Species authority)

where the items in bold are essential and the names in parentheses are optional.

Here are typical samples of an excel file and a text file. However, we are flexible and can adapt to suit the format that you are familiar with.

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