We are keeping the fields apart; it is of course possible to search and
find basically anything with modern databases, but we have found that it
is easier and less confusing to keep them apart. We also have fields for
higher categories, probably useful for all sorts of reasons, but I find that I
personally hardly ever use a field higher than family. But then I usually
search within the polychaetes. It is possible in most databases to set up
summary fields, i.e. fields into which data from two or more fields are
copied, so it is possible to have a readout on the database of genus and
species in single sequence. By the way, one of my pet peeves is that I
really now use a quadrinomial for the collections (and in papers), i.e.
genus, species, author and year. With the appropriate parentheses.
There are far too many uncorrected homonyms around, and without
these two bits, you will not be able to segregate one from the other.
Kristian Fauchald, Research Zoologist
Department of Zoology
NMNH, Smithsonian Institution
NHB MRC 0163
Washington, DC 20013-7012
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