The naming and classification of species is crucial for biodiversity science and relies on consistent grouping of organisms in a hierarchical structure. Taxonomies representing such hierarchies may come from a variety of sources and are not always consistent.
In this paper, winner of the inaugural Ebbe Nielsen Prize in 2002, Nozomi Ytow, presents a new Java-based application, Taxonaut, that allows for easy and user-friendly summarised comparisons of two or more taxonomies. Relying on GBIF Checklist Bank for taxonomic data, Taxonaut takes a scientific name and returns the taxonomies in which that particular taxon is included. From the results, users are able to select specific taxonomies and compare name usage in a hierarchical structure with matching taxa aligned for user-friendly comparison. Searches can also be expanded to include basionyms and synonyms, if relevant.
Taxonaut is novel methodological approach to comparative taxonomy analysis that allows non-expert users to assess and compare nomenclatural data in a fast and easy manner.