Identification of any species represented in the data set should be as complete as possible.
- Use a standard taxonomy whenever possible
- Full taxonomic tree to most specific level available
- Source of taxonomy should accompany taxonomic tree (if available)
- References used for taxonomic identification should be provided, if appropriate (e.g. technical document, journal article, book, database, person, etc.)
Examples of standardized identification systems:
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (http://www.itis.gov/)
- Species 2000 (http://www.sp2000.org/)
- USDA Plants (http://plants.usda.gov/index.html)
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility (http://www.gbif.org/informatics/name-services/using-names-data/)
Many ecological studies involve at least one species; identifying the species used in a study is critical for its evaluation. The most complete information possible should be provided since taxonomic names and classifications shift over time with new information.