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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

The Key to Scientific Names (1 Viewer)

James Jobling

Well-known member
Gloria in excelsis Deo. With effect from 10 March 2021 The Key to Scientific Names is now available, without subscription, on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Birds of the World site. The information can also be obtained for each species through the Taxonomy Explorer. The texts from my HBWAlive Key were transferred to Cornell on 11 May 2020, and the IT people there have done sterling work in rolling-out the new project. I must especially thank Brian L. Sullivan and Jeff A. Gerbracht. Note, however, that the texts remain unchanged since they were transferred from Lynx to Cornell nearly a year ago. During that period I have maintained my own MS, which now stands at some 50,000 entries and sub-entries, and over 1,537,000 words, and within the next month or so I should obtain editorial permissions, enabling me to amend or add such new definitions as I have found to The Key. Many of those definition amendments were first brought to light on this forum, so I thank you all for your patience.
 

Taphrospilus

Well-known member
(y) But still some way to go to update with etymological news since one year. But I am confident that James will manage this and The Key to scientific names will be soon agile und up to date as our good old HBW key.🐔🐧🐦🐤🐣🦆🦅🦉
 

James Jobling

Well-known member
Power, Riches and Glory. I am glad to report that as from 7 June I have had editorial access to The Key. Over 700 relevant updates have already been made, and I can now instantly update definitions from my own researches or from new info highlighted on BirdForum or garnered from elsewhere. My long-term intention is to regularise all generic entries/definitions by providing family names and type citations. The site still needs some small, mainly cosmetic tweaks, but Jeff and his merry men at Cornell are working on those.
The final, slightly updated, paragraph from the 'Guide to Entries' bears repetition, "As a child of the 21st century The Key benefits from the facility to immediately update entries based on timely correspondence, regular housekeeping and editing, and scouring and checking the literature. Before quoting from The Key it is essential to consult the current entry / definition, since this could change within the twinkling of an eye. I have made every effort to achieve accuracy, but, with some 30,000 entries and sub-entries and more than 1,586,000 words and symbols, regrettably a few typographical and transcription errors, or misreadings, may have escaped my notice. New and relevant information and clarification, constructive comment, and pertinent corrections are ever welcomed for consideration, inclusion and attribution."
I hope the wait will have been worth it!
 

James Jobling

Well-known member
Sed fugit interea, fugit inreparabile tempus ... Earlier this afternoon I completed the regularization of generic names in The Key, by providing header family names and type citations for all genera (excepting those of Rafinesque 1815!) (see the appropriate paragraph in the Guide to Key Entries). The next project is to reconcile the taxonomy in The Key with that of Cornell BOW/Clements - but I shall take a holiday break before starting that! In the meantime, of course, I still welcome comments, corrections and additional material on both specific and generic names.
 

Björn Bergenholtz

... earlier a k a "Calalp"
James, enjoy your well-earned holiday break!

Have a Pint. Or two.

🍺

There's a lot to do, also off-line, with shorebirds/waders on the move, in large numbers, right now ... ;)

Cheers!
 
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Björn Bergenholtz

... earlier a k a "Calalp"
Re. the following text/note, (at the end) in Guide to Key Entries (here, for the KEY TO SCIENTIFIC NAMES, at large):
[...]
As a child of the 21st century The Key benefits from the facility to immediately update entries based on timely correspondence, regular housekeeping and editing, and scouring and checking the literature. Before quoting from The Key it is essential to consult the current entry / definition, since this could change within the twinkling of an eye.

In my mind, a "Last updated" function/notice would be very useful (that is; on every, and each, entry – not only of/for the entire Key).

To me (and to anyone else, I assume, constantly using, quoting, trusting, relying on, the Key), it would be very helpful if it was possible to see/tell exactly when (on what exact day) the latest, most recent, updates/amendments were made on the different entries.

Maybe something to put on a Wish List, to the Cornell crew, James?

If doable, of course. ;)

Cheers & Stay safe!

Björn
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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