Curators: Guide to Taxon Framework Relationships


I’m pretty familiar with the taxon frameworks from having worked on them when they were still not in full rollout. I know you aren not the author of the cited link, but one line near the bottom seems odd. Specifically :

‘A well curated Taxon Framework should have all taxa properly mapped to the External Reference. That is to say, there should be no internal taxa with unknown relationships.’

That seems to suggest, maybe I am reading it wrong, that a properly curated Taxon Framework has no deviations. But I thought that deviations that are reviewed and accepted scientifically and / or by the iNat community were acceptable.

For example I am a taxon curator, if someone has requested a new species which has just been described, with the reference I am willing to add it and note the reason for the deviation is that the external defined source has not yet caught up to the publications.

But that line seems to indicate this is inappropriate.

Am I not reading it properly, or does it need to be flushed out about what and when an acceptable deviation is ?

I think it’s just not worded clearly. The point is to have no “unknown” relationships. You can “map” the deviation to the external reference, even if it’s just saying that it’s not in that reference. Moving the bar from “we don’t know whether or not its in POWO” (unmapped, unknown) to “we know it’s not in POWO and accept that” (mapped deviation).

I interpreted it as poorly worded as well, but wanted to make sure. It should emphasize a properly curated taxa has no undocumented deviations, not that it has no taxa not mapped to the external reference, at least that is my sense.