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CaRMS Board of Editors

CaRMS Editorial Board


The CaRMS editorial board consists of taxonomic and data management editors.  Distribution records for names listed in the database have been or are being checked and updated by local taxonomic experts.  The CaRMS  editorial board does not directly have the authority to modify taxonomic information stored in WoRMS or ITIS; however, the editors may collaborate with the WoRMS/ITIS taxonomic editors to effect changes.


CaRMS editors to perform the following tasks as part of their assigned work plans, under funded contracts or on a voluntary basis:

·        To suggest regional areas with need of distribution checklists for particular taxa

·        To provide advice on sources of definitions for regional areas

·        To recommend/approve publications as ‘authoritative’

·        To assist with the review of existing unverified register records by the assignment of authoritative notes

·        To assist with the compilation of distribution notes for areas of interest to DFO scientists

·        To assist with a periodic review groups of taxa and/or sources of information in the register related to changes in distribution

·        To assist with the compilation of authoritative taxonomic notes for taxonomic names not included in the ITIS and/or the WoRMS databases

·        To assist with the compilation of authoritative taxonomic notes for unverified or incorrect records in ITIS and/or WoRMS databases

·        To assist with the compilation of authoritative notes associated with taxonomic records in ITIS and/or WoRMS (such as feeding types, morphology, invasive status)

·        To assist with the assignment of the terms fresh, brackish and marine to entries in CaRMS

·        To provide advice in the mapping of dataset species lists to the register and standard codes for names where an exact match with names in the register do not exist (perhaps missing authorship information or variations in spelling of the taxonomic name and/or authorship)

·        To provide advice on the mapping of non taxonomic terms to controlled vocabulary lists.

·        Provide images of taxa for the CaRMS photogallery


Notes must be associated with an authoritative source. The type of source may be one of the following: expert; database; internet or publication. Preference is to recognized published material. Full reference information for all sources used will be included in the literature/source table associated with the register of species.




As part of the taxonomic standards project and the register of species database we are compiling a list of editors and associate editors for various groups of taxa.  What this means is - if there was a question related to taxonomy or distribution who might be able to answer the question and/or know where to go to find the answer?


Are there groups of taxa that you wouldn't mind having your name associated with?  You can always remove your name later if it 'doesn't work out'.


Our register of species will include fresh, brackish and marine taxa and we wish to model our board of editors after that of the world register of marine species, WoRMS.  If you wish to have a look at their board of editors see


The design of the WoRMS board includes main and associate editors.  Perhaps if an editor felt comfortable with taxa within their specific geographic region and/or taxonomic group then they might wish to be termed an associate editor.


We will have a separate list of 'data management' editors.



Q.  Will the taxonomic editors be consulted only for the NSDMC part of the project, or also for  WoRMS? There are people here who would probably be willing to be identified as taxonomic editors at the DFO level, as they are expert in their taxa at a regional level, but who would not consider themselves to be of the "world expert" class that presumably is needed for WoRMS..


A.  The taxonomic editor contribution would be to the DFO/Canadian register.  Our registers primarily deal with distribution notes for species.  Notes related to taxonomy are trickier since we cannot directly make changes to any of the taxonomic stuff in WoRMS.  Changes in taxonomy must be done by the WoRMS taxonomic editors but our taxonomists are encouraged to collaborate with them. However we must collect them when our taxonomists disagree with what is in ITIS or WoRMS or when we wish to append a 'new' species.


The main role of our registers is to focus on authoritative notes related to distribution in areas of interest to DFO science.  Improved distribution notes will facilitate the ability to create checklists for defined areas.  If you have a checklist of known critters for an area then you should be able to QC datasets and determine potentially incorrect identifications and/or new species to the area.


Q.  Will the editor have to go outside of local region for meetings ?

A.  They would not be in contact with users.  I see the list of editors as a list of contacts so if we come across a name or group of names that we are having problems with we can contact them  if they have the time they can respond or they can say busy - call me in 3 months time. Or they could say - why don't you try so and so…  and also there is the possibility of funding -- perhaps we wish to review phytoplankton in the St. Lawrence river - who should we hire to do this review.  Etc.  Short answer - No meetings - just a contact name for the taxonomic standards group.


Q.  Will the editor have to answer to many people using databases such as BioChem or the register or only to the CRAB/CaRMS data managers ?

A.  The BioChem database species code table and other species lists feed into the registers.  If a name in BioChem can't be matched to a name in the register then someone needs to be contacted to see if the name is real and if it has ever been found in this region before -- or perhaps the BioChem sample was misidentified and should be rejected.  At the moment we map the BioChem names to ITIS -- that just means that we have a standard spelling but perhaps this species is only found off south africa and has never been found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence before.  Perhaps the id is incorrect or perhaps the species came in with ballast water  - a local expert might know the chances of this...

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