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9 The Taxon Dictionary




At installation, there are 215 checklists in the taxon (species) dictionary in Recorder 6 version, 208 in versions and, 199 in version, 181 in version and 182 in Recorder 2002.  The full BEETLES list was added in version  The latest dictionary upgrade (as at May 2009), 0000000F.sql, doesn’t add any further lists.


It is not necessarily obvious which taxon dictionary list to use in different circumstances.  In Recorder 6, as in later versions of Recorder 2002, JNCC grouped together those checklists that they believe are most useful for entering current observations at the beginning of the drop down list of checklists in the taxon dictionary.  They also re-named these lists to make it easier to see which taxa they contain – their official name has been preceded by the name of the taxon for which they are appropriate in capital letters, e.g. VASCULAR PLANTS.  These are referred to as the preferred lists and, in Recorder 6, they can be searched as a group in several places.


A ‘Restrict Searches to’ box was added to the Find Taxon dialogue box when it is used to search the dictionary itself in version  This is a significant improvement to dictionary searches as it means that users no longer need to select the required dictionary list prior to doing their search.  If this is set to ‘Current Checklist’ and nothing is returned the user can simply change it to ‘Preferred Checklists’ or ‘Unrestricted’ to widen the search.  When the required taxon is selected from the list of matches the system opens the dictionary list that contains it.  This facility is also available when entering data, as in Recorder 2002, although the option to select ‘Preferred Checklists’ is new in Recorder 6.  The required option can also be set on the General tab for Tools – Options.  Also, if ‘Enable partial name search for taxa’ is ticked on the General tab in Tools – Options, you can search for taxa using a variable number of letters from different parts of the name, separated by a space, e.g. ‘prim vulg’ – see Help – Search tab – Finding Taxa for full details.


As in Recorder 2002, if the required taxon is not on any lists it can be added to the dictionary using Dictionaries – Edit Taxon Details, but it must be remembered that species added in this way are classed as user added taxa and observations for user added taxa cannot be exported.


A number of structural changes have been made to the taxon dictionary including the introduction of the NameServer table to enable better translation across lists.  This combined with the additional fields in the Index_Taxon_Name table such as the recommended preferred name and a standard sort order enable the Report Wizard to work correctly for most taxa when observations have been entered using different lists.  In version the NameServer table was very nearly populated for all taxa.  Where NameServer is not populated for taxa on certain lists, observations entered using these, may be excluded from reports depending on how the report is done.  Entering as much data as possible using the preferred lists or the Recorder 3.3 list will help avoid such problems.