chapter  5
46 Pages

Nomenclature as a standardised metadata system for ordering and accessing information about plants *

ByCharles Lawson

This chapter addresses the developing challenges for a suitable metadata structure for organising biological information under the access and benefit sharing arrangements for genetic resources. It describes that names provide a metadata structure for ordering and accessing all this information, and that naming remains preferable to various disembodied metadata structures. The chapter also addresses the evolving naming practices from the time of the Ancients and up to recent formal naming codes. It explores the current formal naming codes, including the specific issues of authorship, priority, publication and types. The chapter also addresses proposals for alternative codes. It discusses that the current naming codes maintain their links to earlier developments with the key elements of a binomial name linked to a published description. The chapter discusses that the name remains a vital metadata structure for organising information about that plant despite some of the inherent problems with the naming codes.