Time to change how we describe biodiversity

Andrew R. Deans, Matthew J. Yoder, James P. Balhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Taxonomists are arguably the most active annotators of the natural world, collecting and publishing millions of phenotype data annually through descriptions of new taxa. By formalizing these data, preferably as they are collected, taxonomists stand to contribute a data set with research potential that rivals or even surpasses genomics. Over a decade of electronic innovation and debate has initiated a revolution in the way that the biodiversity is described. Here, we opine that a new generation of semantically based digital scaffolding, presently in various stages of completeness, and a commitment by taxonomists and their colleagues to undertake this transformation, are required to complete the taxonomic revolution and critically broaden the relevance of its products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-84
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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