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Introduction - Name Properties and Concepts

Organism names have a number of distinct properties that have relevence in information retrieval. These properties organize the various name-related concepts we store within uBio services.

String Properties (stored in NameBank) - The most fundamental property of a name is that it is a string and it annotates or co-occurs with some content or data object. Some relationships between strings are based on string-derived properties such as lexical variation and co-occurrence.


NameBank stores references to name-bearing data objects and indexes these references by a co-occurring name. These citations may refer to specimen, bibliographic, media or other data types.

The string, Physeter Krefftii appears on p. 166 in Boschma, 1938, Temminkcia, Vol 3.
Vernacular names

Vernacular names are the 'common names' that many non-scientists use to refer to living things. Vernacular names occur in all languages and encodings.

Bengal tiger
Scientific names

Scientific names are the formal latinized names used by scientists to refer to living things. These names may also include author information.

Dialytes ulkei Horn, 1875
Nominal concepts

Nominal concepts are groups of similar scientific names that represent lexical variants of the same term.

Pomatomus saltator
Pomatomus saltatrix
Pomatomix saltatrix
Vernacular concepts

Vernacular concepts are vernacular names that co-occur with scientific names or other vernacular names.

bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix)

Nomenclatural Properties (stored in NameBank) - Names also have nomenclatural properties that account for additional relationships among names. These nomenclatural relationships are, like string properties, based in fact.

Nomenclatural concepts

Nomenclatural concepts are objectively synonymous groups of lexical concepts.

Pomatomus saltator
Pomatomus saltatrix
Pomatomix saltatrix

Temnodon saltator
Temnodon saltator (Linn.)

Gasterosteus saltator

Taxonomic Properties (stored in ClassificationBank) - When a specific name is recorded with an observation or data object by a human being, some concept of what the name represents is implied in its use. These concepts can vary among individuals and other names may be related to that concept.

Taxon Concepts

Taxon concepts are expert interpretations regarding the use of a name to describe a taxon. Expression of taxon concepts can vary considerably.

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