Taxon author missing information

I’m trying to compile a species list for the Vespidae family.
I noticed that there are quite a number of cases were the accepted name doesn’t present the author correctly. There are a number of entry without the publication year.

Like in this case
Odynerus delphinalis Gir.

The author should be Giraud, 1866

I found many other cases like this, some other examples



Is there a way were I can report these cases? Can I contribute to the database? What are the steps in these cases? Is it even possible that a taxon would have an author but no publication year?
Is there a way you know of to access the original publication?

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Hi @Pella86, thanks for offering your help in data improvement!

Taxon names in GBIF’s taxonomic backbone are not curated on the side of GBIF. Rather, they come from a number of name-related/taxonomic datasets, and are assembled into a synthetic hierarchy, the “taxonomic backbone”. The function of this backbone is to allow to find and retrieve species occurrence data that may be published under the currently accepted name, but also under synonyms.

In that sense, improvement of name data and their cross-references happens outside of GBIF. The largest name source are the datasets assembled in the Catalogue of Life (http://www.catalogueoflife.org/), but there are numerous others.

To find the origin of a particular name as shown in GBIF.org, starting from the GBIF “species” page (like https://www.gbif.org/species/1329694), follow the link to the “reference taxon”, which in this case will lead you to http://www.catalogueoflife.org/col/details/species/id/0c7fa6d6ca0c65bae134a0cc0407495e. This is where the information comes from as showing in GBIF, showing the originating data source. This will be a dataset, not the source / publication of the nomenclatural decision, but it is the first step on the trail to the name source.

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I understand, thank you for the answer. So there is no way I can contribute in “cleaning” up the names in GBIF?

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Thank you for your engagement! Any feedback on data quality is very welcome, and it was not my intention to discourage your efforts. The above was trying to explain the data flows around taxon names, and to avoid the perception that we can insert quick text corrections into gbif.org (we can’t, for the reasons stated).

What we happily do is to hand on your feedback to the curators of the names data sources, if you leave a message through the feedback link on a taxon page. There is no automated process behind that so far though, so that it can take some time before that information is forwarded and then handled. If you have a whole list of such cases for a defined taxon group, you are also welcome to put that in a single issue, though we are grateful for links to the individual taxon pages if you have them available.

Another, and possibly more direct, way would be to the curators of the name source directly. In an example like https://www.gbif.org/species/1329694, you find the “reference taxon” link leading to the dataset within the Catalogue of Life that (in this case) is the source of the name. Since this does require even more work on your side, though, maybe the GBIF feedback system is the better starting point in a case like this.

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Thank you for your answers! I will contact CoL if needed!

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