Guidelines for the capture and management of digital zoological names information


This guide provides detailed advice to those working with zoological names on how to digitize and manage this type of information in a standard and consistent way. It includes a guide to verifying the correctness of zoological names and a best practice guide for uniform spellings, with particular focus on the names of the authors.


Consistency when using organism names is especially important in digital environments, as the binomial scientific names established in the Linnaean system are frequently used as database unique keys. Using common criteria when building these databases becomes a must when those databases are shared and used together in online collaborative environments such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).
About the author: Francisco W. Welter-Schultes is a malacologist and works at the Department of Morphology, Systematics, Evolutionary Biology in the Zoological Institute of Göttingen University (Germany). Since 2001, he is the leader the AnimalBase project (, which aims to provide copyright-free open access to zoological works, and provide manually verified lists of names of zoological genera and species as a free resource for the public.


Welter-Schultes, F.




This document is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

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Copyright © F. W. Welter-Schultes & Global Biodiversity Information Facility, 2012.


Welter-Schultes, F.W. (2012). Guidelines for the capture and management of digital zoological names information. Version 1.1, released on March 2013. Copenhagen: Global Biodiversity Information Facility, 126 pp, ISBN: 87-92020-44-5, accessible online at