Taxonomic indexing--extending the role of taxonomy.
Taxonomic indexing refers to a new array of taxonomically intelligent network services that use nomenclatural principles and elements of expert taxonomic knowledge to manage information about organisms. Taxonomic indexing was introduced to help manage the increasing amounts of digital information about biology. It has been designed to form a near basal layer in a layered cyberinfrastructure that deals with biological information. Taxonomic Indexing accommodates the special problems of using names of organisms to index biological material. It links alternative names for the same entity (reconciliation), and distinguishes between uses of the same name for different entities (disambiguation), and names are placed within an indefinite number of hierarchical schemes. In order to access all information on all organisms, Taxonomic indexing must be able to call on a registry of all names in all forms for all organisms. NameBank has been developed to meet that need. Taxonomic indexing is an area of informatics that overlaps with taxonomy, is dependent on the expert input of taxonomists, and reveals the relevance of the discipline to a wide audience.