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Article << Previous     |         Contents Vol 25(5)

A collaborative, integrated and electronic future for taxonomy

Norman F. Johnson

Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, 1315 Kinnear Road, Columbus, OH 43212, USA. Email: johnson.2@osu.edu

Invertebrate Systematics 25(5) 471-475 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/IS11052
Submitted: 21 December 2011  Accepted: 23 December 2011   Published: 14 February 2012

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The Platygastroidea Planetary Biodiversity Inventory is a large-scale, multinational effort to significantly advance the taxonomy and systematics of one group of parasitoid wasps. Based on this effort, there are some clear steps that should be taken to increase the efficiency and throughput of the taxonomic process. Increased collaboration among taxonomic specialists can significantly shorten the timeline and add increased rigor to the development of hypotheses of characters and taxa. Species delimitations should make use of multiple data sources, thus providing more nearly independent tests of these hypotheses. Taxonomy should fully embrace electronic media and informatics tools. Particularly, this step requires the development and widespread implementation of community data standards. The barriers to progress in these areas are not technological, but are primarily social. The community needs to see clear evidence of the value added through these changes in procedures and insist upon their use as standard practice.


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