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ION, free biology resource from Thomson Scientific, new interface and location! Thursday, 2 February 2006 12:21 pm

Posted by Dongmei in biology, database features, databases, Internet Resources.
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ION, short for Index to Organism Names, is now freely available at http://www.organismnames.com/ (I must say, I’m very impressed with the new interface, while I was writing this post, digesting the search features and the Latin names 🙂 late last night, I didn’t expect it to be there this morning). It’s also linked from the Web of Knowledge platform.
The interface is very clean and neatly organized. And I really like the browse feature (was not there in the old interface), I’m sure you’ll appreciate that if you’re like me, not very good at those organisms’ scientific (Latin) names.

It is so far the most comprehensive organism names database, it uses name data from the resources of BIOSIS and other collaborating organizations.

You will need to enter scientific (Latin) name, search by complete name or single epithet (element), truncation (*) is allowed. search tips are available if you click on help.

“ION contains all the animal, plant, and virus names data found within the Thomson BIOSIS literature databases – Zoological RecordTM, BIOSIS Previews® and Biological Abstracts®. Bacteria names will be added soon.” — from the ION main page.

ION accesses a database of over 1.4 million animal names, at all taxonomic ranks, reported from the scientific literature since 1978, plus some 400,000 names of other non-animal organisms provided by collaborating organizations (with a total of 1,736,877 names as of moments ago that I checked).

The Index to Organism Names is offered as an aid to the general bioscience community and gives basic nomenclatural and hierarchy information, plus ZR reference for animal names; and links to other organizations’ data for non-animal names. It can be used to identify the taxonomic group to which an organism belongs and to link to further information from ZR or other collaborating organization.

Caution 1: Since we don’t have the subscription to any of the Thomson BIOSIS products (Zoological Record, BIOSIS Previews, Biological Abstracts), you can’t really click on the links in the results to search the organism in those databases. You can’t click on the Zoological Record link in the Original Description Reference, either.
(However, as a reminder, we do have a subscription to the CSA’s Zoological Record Plus.)

Caution 2: Users should be aware that the ION system will not deliver a list of valid organism names (see Species 2000 for an international project with this intention); for animal groups ION offers a view of how names have been utilised in the scientific literature and what changes in their application have been formally proposed; for other organism groups it provides links and/or direct access to other servers where nomenclatural data can be found.

As a side note, you may find these related links on the ION Website quite useful:
New and Changed Names Reported in Zoological Record
Guide to the Animal Kingdom for Students and Educators
Nomenclatural Glossary for Zoology

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