Nice job, congratulations!! And a really good explanation of how the GBIF Backbone is made.
But, I have a question…How is it determined that a name is the “most trusted”? Because if that is the condition to be accepted / valid and not a synonymous name, I think we could use some more information on how to get it to be “trusted”. Not all countries follow the same classifications and many times, we (nodes) must explain to taxonomists, who review the data and corroborate the names, why the names appear as synonyms when they indicated them as accepted / valid names.
Very interesting post. Helped me understand the backbone better. My main take away is that GBIF gets many names and not always these names fit some large accepted taxonomy, but we need to organize them somehow!
There is a 7th question not answered in this post, which is “Why does GBIF replace the provided taxon name with a name from the backbone when it cannot find a match?” By “replace” I mean literally remove the provided name in the processed dataset and put a backbone name in its place.
This practice was criticised in two 2018 papers:
Alternatives to GBIF’s current practice were suggested in these papers. GBIF needs to organise names somehow, of course, but there is no need to force a single synthetic taxonomy in every GBIF record.