IPNI The International Plant Names Index

Curation of the IPNI data

The statistics on the number of changes made to the IPNI data each month indicate its dynamic nature. Considering that a lot of the records were compiled up to 120 or so years ago, it shouldn't be surprising that changes are needed to bring the data into line with current nomenclatural rules and data standards. Styles of recording changed over the years with each new IK supplement. Reading more about this will help you interpret the data.

Curation of the existing data comprises corrections, standardisations and data enhancements.



  • connecting vowels in compound epithets, after resolving etymology

  • endings of epithets derived from personal names

  • gender endings

  • removing hyphens where appropriate

  • adding extended characters to publication titles where missing

  • typographical

OCR errors

  • many still exist throughout the data. e.g.

    o for e, b for h, n for r, l for i, 0 for 9, 8 for 3

    Some OCR errors can result in date errors which could affect priority, or incorrect author, like 'Britton' for 'Britten'. See the errors table for more.

Place of publication

  • updating place of publication of a name should an earlier one be discovered and checking whether this has any nomenclatural consequences

  • title cited may not be the one recommended in TL-2

  • investigating the significance of secondary references and amending accordingly

Nomenclatural status

  • identifying and flagging invalid and illegitimate names

  • suppressing erroneous records

  • rejoining records that were split, and suppressing the part no longer needed e.g. where title begins with 'cf.', 'see also', 'et in'


Author Name & Publication Title

  • resolving ambiguous, inconsistent and cryptic entries

  • editing to correct standard form

  • title or author record may not be present in the relevant database so a new entry has to be created

Collation Reformating (more details here)

  • converting roman numeral volume numbers, being wary of scanning errors

  • restructuring the collation to incorporate part number, in whatever format it may occur, e.g. Beibl., Litt.

  • moving date from collation to publication year field, ensuring that this is the page publication date and not the volume date

  • adding date of publication, precise if available


Adding Additional Information

  • nomenclatural status

  • etymology

  • alternative spelling an author may have used for his or her name

  • author's year of birth

  • example of name published

  • publication edition or volume information

  • volume publication date, if different from page publication date, e.g. '1878 publ. 1876' means that the volume as a whole was published in 1878 but the relevant page appeared in a part published in 1876.

Adding links

  • to relevant entry in the authors and publications databases

  • to basionym, replaced synonym, same citation, homonym, isonym

Reducing the number of publication title variants prior to standardisation

  • grouping like together to minimise repetition of checking and to avoid overlooking single variants with scanning or typographical errors






Back to Top

Back to IPNI Home

Page created 19 November 2009


Copyright 2009 International Plant Names Index

contact us