Activities 2013

The main focus of activty was the discussion of nomenclature in the context of increased role for molecular data as the prmary taxobase underpinning taxonomic decsions. The symposium in Vienna was a premier opportunity to do this, and the collaborative links were followed through in additional meetings. New collabortions and further meetings are planned as a result.

The key unifying mechanism for all the components discussed by the ICB in recent years is a unified system of digital nomenclature (as indicated in last year’s ICB report to IUBS). The sope of the programme should thus be shifted to Nomenclature in an age of Big Data as the next major item on the agenda for ICB consideration. An informal working group with extensive experience in this topic has been convened, including a number of chief executives of relevant projects (e.g., GBIF, Smithsonian, ZooBank, etc.). This group has had a number of Skype meetings and drafted planning documents to launch a cross-taxonmic, global digital system for nomeclatural information access, with an aim to hold a workshop, paired with a major symposium, on digital nomenclature in Septmeber 2014. The ICB will provide the core participants for the workshop, with additional funding and hosting by the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA and Oxford University, UK.

Development of partnership

The ICB BioCode Programme has brought together representatives of all established codes of nomenclature. Discussions continue about linking existing Codes digitally, and harmonising the process through aspects presented in the BioCode. The main mechanism for this is developing a globally integrated system for digital nomenclature. Further meetings to establish protocols and standards are planned, and new partners with expertise in ‘Big Data’ in the natural sciences have become key partners in the work of the ICB.

Conferences and Workshops


Nomenclature for the Future

IUBS Symposium: Nomenclature for the Future at the European Systematics Conference, in Vienna, Austria, 18 – 22 February 2013. six talks, attended by a 70-100 people at each talk.


  • Schindel & Miller: Naming of organisms in an era of molecular-based discovery;
  • Barkworth et al.: Developments in botanical nomenclature;
  • Kirk: Obligatory registration, the situation with fungi;
  • Michel & Pyle: The power and challenges for stable and sensible scientific names for animals;
  • Sangster: The link between names and taxa in rank-based taxonomic systems: synonymy and homonymy in higher taxa of birds;
  • Penev et al.: Automated registration model for eukaryotes