Wikispecies:Village Pump

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The tragedy of Wikispecies' spider taxonomyEdit

After spending a few hours trying to figure out why Wikispecies' spider taxonomy is so bad (outdated by at least 50 years, and in some cases complete nonsense), I finally traced it back to its original source. It seems that in the early days of Wikispecies, before Sci-Hub existed and the World Spider Catalog was still a giant expensive book rather than an online database, a biology student and Wikispecies editor who we'll call Bruno (to avoid unnecessary embarrassment) decided to flesh out Wikispecies' spider taxonomy. There being approximately 50,000 spider species divided into over 100 families, this was no small task (in comparison, there are only 10,000 species of birds). Luckily for Bruno, but unluckily for us, he found a webpage created by Joel Hallan called "Synopsis of the Described Araneae of the World" published on the website of Texas A&M University's Entomology Department. This webpage offered a comprehensive taxonomy of the entire spider order. Bruno then set to work building out Wikispecies' spider taxonomy based on this source.

There was only one problem, Joel Hallan was a computer programmer, not an arachnologist, and his "Synopsis of the Described Araneae of the World" was self-published original research, not a reliable academic source. Although Joel Hallan is certainly a spider enthusiast, he has no academic credentials, has never published an academic paper, is not a trained biologist or taxonomist, and cobbled together his taxonomy from a random assortment of sources (many dating back a century), filling in the blanks with his own dubious research. Despite the fact that the webpage was published on the website of Texas A&M University's Entomology Department, Joel Hallan has never been listed under the faculty or staff of that department (per In a 2012 blog post, Hallan is described as a "computer programmer and spider enthusiast" and admits that he has "no title", only an association with the entomology department. My guess is that he was either a volunteer at the department or their webmaster (or both). I don't want to be overly disparaging of Hallan's work, which is admirable for self-published amateur research (much like Wikispecies itself). However, it is certainly not a reliable source (in the Wikipedia sense). Most problematic is that some of the taxons listed by Hallan and copied to Wikispecies seem to have been invented by Hallan. For example, the superfamily Mimetoidea does not exist in any scholarly sources. The only match on Google Scholar is from a 2016 Uruguayan thesis that includes it in a list of families and superfamilies (likely copied from Wikispecies). And from my own personal knowledge, it doesn't make sense as a taxon (Malkaridae and Mimetidae are definitely not sister clades). I would say that over half of the higher level taxons listed by Hallan (which have all been copied to Wikispecies) are either archaic or dubious. The really unfortunate thing is that all of these taxons have since been copied to Wikidata, various Wikipedias (although generally not English Wikipedia due to their citation standards), iNaturalist (which utilizes Wikidata), and the rest of the internet, sometimes creating circular references.

So my question to the Wikispecies community is: what can we do to clean this up? The problem affects thousands of pages here and would require a massive amount of deleting, merging, and editing to resolve. There also isn't 1 simple accessible source (like Joel Hallan's list) for an up-to-date taxonomy of all spiders. The closest thing that exists is the World Spider Catalog, but they only include families, genera, and species (which is also what English Wikipedia commonly does). Part of the problem is that modern spider taxonomists don't use strict Linnaean taxonomy any more. Because it's largely pointless to try to cram phylogenetic trees into Linnaean taxonomy, its becoming more and more common to use unranked clades with vernacular names like "spiny leg clade", "RTA clade", etc. And you'll notice that even though such clades are widely known and used by spider taxonomists, they are all redlinks on Wikispecies. Instead, we have hundreds of archaic or nonsense Linnaean taxons imported from Hallan's list. But even when those taxon names are still in use, they rarely correspond to Hallan's delineations.

My proposal, although drastic, would be the following:

  1. Delete or redirect all spider taxons between family and genus (subfamilies, tribes, subtribes, etc.).
  2. Make sure that all taxons between order and family match those on English Wikipedia (which is sadly the best single source I can find).
  3. Make sure the families and genera match those given in the World Spider Catalog.
  4. Gradually fill in the taxonomies between family and genus by using relevant published academic sources.

Thoughts? Nosferattus (talk) 17:31, 12 April 2022 (UTC)

Not sure that this is directly of assistance, but in creating IRMNG ( starting some 16 years ago now, I had similar issues, and this is how I approached them at the time:
(1) Look in the then-latest Catalog of Life (at that time, the 2006 edition) for accepted genera and species, and accepted families and higher taxa in which they were placed (not sure how complete the CoL was at that time, probably not very)
(2) Check for additional families and higher in Parker et al., "Synopsis and Classification of Living Organisms", 1982, then around 30+ years out-of-date but good for gap filling in some groups at least
(3) Look for additional regional species lists e.g. Australia, New Zealand, wherever, to fill more gaps
(4) Look in Nomenclator Zoologicus (to 2004 or so, later ION) for additional genus names not previously held, park them "somewhere" (e.g. "Aranae - awaiting allocation" pending further work
(5) Consult Hallan's list as above to upgrade "unallocated" genera to families etc., sort synonyms from valid names, add in any more names missed.
Obviously today the WSC would be a better resource all round, if that can be used.
The above sources would all have been "best effort" for their day. I also used an additional source early in the piece, Sheila Brands' "Systema Naturae 2000", which is still going and which she endeavours to keep up-to-date although like all these things, a very big task for one person... my end result being the present version of IRMNG, some portions of which have since been reviewed further but I am afriad I have not touched the spiders recently, except to check in some new names.
Today as far as I know, CoL taxonomy comes from the WSC but is only using their 2019 version (?) at this time. So data should preferably come from the WSC directly, ideally via some sort of data table comparison looking for differences (something I used to be in a position to do quite easily but these days not so easy for me with more restricted computing resources, so I will not be volunteering!), or if the WSC data is not readily available, the equivalent using CoL.... Regards - Tony Rees Tony 1212 (talk) 18:59, 12 April 2022 (UTC)
yes an issue with COL is as you rightly point out the site is a little out of date with many groups, largely because they are moving to COL+ so rather than massive updates they are building their new platform. However I think its a good starting place for now and we can use lit to improve on it. Then see what CoL+ has when its released. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 19:33, 12 April 2022 (UTC)
@Tony 1212: In reply to "So data should preferably come from the WSC directly, ideally via some sort of data table comparison looking for differences": The WSC has a CSV data export at I'm not sure how to construct a comparison table with Wikispecies, however. Nosferattus (talk) 04:23, 14 April 2022 (UTC)
> I'm not sure how to construct a comparison table with Wikispecies...
@Nosferattus:Nor am I (these days)... in my former life (database programmer) I would put the WSC entries into one database table, the Wikispecies into another, and ask the database query software to tell me which records in table A were not present in table B, or vice versa; or more sophisticated queries as well, e.g. which had a different parent if present in both tables, or different cited authorities... these days I do not have such a facility to hand, but others may?? Cheers Tony Tony 1212 (talk) 23:02, 27 April 2022 (UTC)
yes this would make sense in an ideal world. I could do it in theory also but also do not have the data in hand to do this. I maintain databases for turtle taxonomy so get what you are getting at there, such queries would give a useful insight but takes significant resources to set up. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 00:44, 28 April 2022 (UTC)
@Faendalimas, Nosferattus, and Tony 1212: It's not that hard to convert the WSC lists of families and genera to a wikispecies format. Converting the WSC list of families to this only took me about 20 minutes with WikEd and TextPad, and only because I'm always messing up when doing those replacement expressions lol (I know WikEd as advanced search and replace functions built-in directly, but I'm not used to them compared to TextPad's). For valid species, though, it's tough out of luck. Circeus (talk) 13:30, 29 April 2022 (UTC)
  • I acknowledge the issue, part of it stems from the reality that although we have a significant number of actual taxonomists here none that I am aware of specialise in spiders. My personal view and I am happy to help you if you are willing to put the effort in to sorting the mess would be to avoid circularity. I personally try not to use Wikipedia to determine the taxonomy here, as you say it only ends up on wikidata and back to wikipedia, a circle. For simplicity I would start with Catalogue of Life for simplicity for two reasons, one they basically link to the Catalogue of Spiders and two they will help with sources. Further they indicate the current validity of each name. This is a large group of organisms as you rightly say will require a significant investment of time to deal with the issues. No doubt in the early days of wikispecies like a number of groups the spiders were auto filled out from whatever they could get, and with no specialists here since that time it has been left to rot. Another advantage of the CoL+ is it is being set up to become the global list of species, there is a meeting on this at Naturalis in June which I will be attending. I have a small advantage here in that I am on the Board of Directors of the IUBS Global Species Working Group, hence have been directly involved in much of this. I was also involved in the ICZN discussions on the recent paper describing 400 species of spiders from barcodes and whether or not these represented valid descriptions for the purpose of nomenclature. So I have been forced out of my usual territory in recent times to at least see whats happening in spiders. But to do this we need someone on this site editing hard who is wiling to focus on the spiders. It seems you have the skills, you could not have said what you said above if you did not know your spiders. I am happy to help you, but my focus is vertebrates, largely turtles aand other reptiles, which I still need to work on, plus I am a crat and a checkuser so have other functions on this wiki that take up my time. Let me know what you think you can do with this group. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 19:04, 12 April 2022 (UTC)
    @Faendalimas: Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I sincerely hope the global species list becomes a reality. It would solve a lot of problems. I also hope it can address the issue of taxonomic vandalism, which has become a significant problem for both spider and reptile taxonomy, as I'm sure you're familiar with. Nosferattus (talk) 04:32, 14 April 2022 (UTC)
    @Nosferattus: yes there are mechanisms within the principals of the Global Species List Working Group (open access) that can address the issue of taxonomic vandalism. In a recent paper DOI: 10.1007/s13127-021-00518-8 I discussed this using reptiles and Reptile Database as a case study. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 08:07, 14 April 2022 (UTC)
  • The problem, which occurs with other groups as well, is that there are good, well maintained taxonomic databases that deal with families, genera and species; in the case of spiders this is, as noted above, the World Spider Catalog (which also contains some subspecies). Other ranks are problematic, for multiple reasons:
  • The World Spider Catalog does not deal with them.
  • Sources that do so in a comprehensive manner are usually well out of date.
  • Molecular phylogenetic studies are standard now. These may result in accepted phylogenies, but authors are often not interested in mapping these to Linnaean ranks. Much of the "spider tree of life" does seem to have reached consensus (with perhaps stress on "seem"), but with clades, not ranks.
So I do think that the first step should be to implement the World Spider Catalog's family/genus/species/subspecies classification, with intermediate ranks redirected to the one above. Higher ranks mostly remain problematic. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:48, 13 April 2022 (UTC)
I don't quite understand the technical details of circular referencing, but I want to jump in to say that taxonomy for the genus level for articles- at least the ones that have automatic taxoboxes- are all sourced from WSC, and most have been checked with the source directly (some sources aren't in English and I can't read them). It's not a lot, but it may be a place to start. Sesamehoneytart (talk) 09:00, 13 April 2022 (UTC)
Peter, you do realize, I hope, that Linnean names are, technically, irrelevant above the rank of superfamily, right? Because those names are not governed by the Zoological code so strictly speaking, there is no need whatsoever for such a mapping whose nonexistence you bemoan. Now, I'm not saying the overabundance and instability of clade names is not a problem, but it's one that does not involve respect or disrespect of any rules of nomenclature. If anything, it mostly reveals our own shortcomings in not being firmer as to what groupings belong in the taxonavigation. Circeus (talk) 12:50, 13 April 2022 (UTC)


Whilst doing some routine checks I noticed that {{Taxonbar}} had appeared on a small number of taxon pages, in spite of it being banned after discussion [1]. The {{Taxonbar}} template has now been removed from 382 taxon pages by a fellow admin. The template's page is still referred to by the Village Pump archive, a few Modules and some user- and template talk pages, it's no longer actively used as a template on any taxa pages. However, it has been suggested that it may be time to revisit the discussion and if required hold another vote, hence this Pump post. Before discussing I would like to know why there are several language versions across the Wiki projects for the same page space, for example Stachys English cf. Stacyhs Spanish and who maintains/admins the template and its inclusions? I have my views on its utility on WS but will hold these close to my chest for now! Best regards Andyboorman (talk) 18:21, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Has it been redeveloped as per the discussion previously? I came in late to it last time I voted against it but I did recognise that with redesign it could be useful, so I was more voting that if redesigned it should be reconsidered. At the time I felt that the neutral votes and arguments against were largely its current look not its potential utility. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 18:38, 14 April 2022 (UTC)
Sorry should have added the template to a taxon page as an example, please see Centaurea. Andyboorman (talk) 18:51, 14 April 2022 (UTC)
Can the clunky header Centaurea - <Taxon identifiers on external data bases> be dumped? Andyboorman (talk) 19:29, 14 April 2022 (UTC). Yes! I have been contacted by somebody who knows the code and the WS appearance can be easily made more like WP. Andyboorman (talk) 20:04, 14 April 2022 (UTC)
It seems to me an excellent idea to be able to include the taxonbar in the editions. I have been able to see the proof in Centaurea and up to 28 references appear that define it, only missing (among the most used references) to Catalog of Life. Saludos.--MILEPRI (talk) 07:30, 16 April 2022 (UTC)
Agreed (CoL now added); it has been suggested (here) that we agree which databases to include, but if they're reliable sources listed and linked succinctly like this at the bottom of the page, I would be tempted to err on the side of inclusion (unless the page gets totally ridiculous with thousands of identifiers (itself unlikely as this is all sourced from wikidata and I believe there is an acceptance process for the inclusion of new/additional databases ("properties"))), thanks, Maculosae tegmine lyncis (talk) 08:19, 16 April 2022 (UTC)
I guess we could agree a prioritized sequence (e.g., IUCN first), I think currently it is alphabetical order, Maculosae tegmine lyncis (talk) 08:26, 16 April 2022 (UTC)
We need to remember that this facility is NOT part of the Reference Section, but a source of additional material. The RF is a simple list of sources that were used to compile or modify the taxonomy and classification. Andyboorman (talk) 18:14, 16 April 2022 (UTC)
Very much so. Is the proposal simply to reverse the ban, so individual editors who so wish are free to add the template to a taxon page/taxon pages one-by-one, or is the idea to have a bot add the template/functionality to all taxon pages, or at least all with at least one identifier/external database id in wikidata? Thanks, Maculosae tegmine lyncis (talk) 06:16, 17 April 2022 (UTC)
Note that I don't knwo why we have not the title "Taxon identifiers" in the left side as in English Wikipedia... Christian Ferrer (talk) 05:57, 17 April 2022 (UTC)
I think the idea, assuming this gets the go-ahead, is to replace the existing Module:Taxonbar and {{Taxonbar}} template with the latest enwiki versions.
Currently Module:Taxonbar/conf adds wikidata and attempts to add wp — do we want this list to be solely of non-Wikimedia links, or do we wish also to include wikidata, and/or the Commons category, and/or (fix the code so as to include also the (relevant, localized)) Wikipedia? Since I believe there have been >0 proposals effectively to shut down and archive this whole site, I don't think we want to be too sniffy about what is presumably the Wikimedia Foundation's flagship offering, however, since Wikidata, the different language wps, and indeed the Commons category, are linked in the sidebar in the left margin, I would not be opposed to these being omitted/removed/commented out, unless their inclusion makes it much easier for newcomers to spot/find, Maculosae tegmine lyncis (talk) 06:16, 17 April 2022 (UTC)
  • Oh that's done, I managed to do it, now we have "Taxon identifiers" in the left side of the box, however Help:Taxon identifiers don't exist here, so either I remove the link in the box or we create that page. Your choice, colleagues. Christian Ferrer (talk) 06:24, 17 April 2022 (UTC)
Or maybe we can also create a dedicated section named "Taxon identifiers" in Help:Contents and we give the link in the box to that section, that should work too. Christian Ferrer (talk) 06:28, 17 April 2022 (UTC)
@Christian Ferrer: the taxon identifier label is a very good idea in my opinion. It looks cleaner and a lot more like the WP pages. Thanks Andyboorman (talk) 06:41, 17 April 2022 (UTC)
  •   Comment awaiting a local solution the link in the left side of the box leads to the ENglish Wikipedia page en:Help:Taxon identifiers, and now that taxonbar is almost exactly the same as there. Maybe its banishment can be questionned. Christian Ferrer (talk) 15:24, 18 April 2022 (UTC)

───────────────────────── As this discussion has petered out, is it time to move to an RFC vote? Andyboorman (talk) 15:13, 27 April 2022 (UTC)

In my opinion, yes. Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 19:19, 27 April 2022 (UTC).
In my opinion, yes.--MILEPRI (talk) 10:15, 28 April 2022 (UTC)
Yes please set up a good RFC with clear voting options so it can be dealt with. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 10:18, 28 April 2022 (UTC)

Global Species List Working GroupEdit

Hi everyone, as many of you know I am the secretary of the GSLWG of the IUBS. We have developed a survey to look at the directions people want us to take with regard to the international governance of species lists, checklists, of which Wikispecies, Wikidata and parts of Wikipedia would have an interest in. We would also be interested in having your opinions on this. So I will provide the link to the survey for anyone who would like to do it. It can be done in 6 different languages. Global Species List Working Group Survey. I am of course aware of WMF policies and getting the opinions of wikimedia editors is I believe very important to us, this is one of the largest checklists of species in the world which we acknowledged in Garnett et al. 2020. Policies also dictate this can be seen as promotion, which is unfortunate because I can think of no other way to randomly obtain the opinions of this important checklist. I am not sure how I can do this on Wikipedia, maybe I can give them a cross wiki link to this, wikidata should be a little easier. Unfortunately the future of checklists is under discussion and I believe WMF has a role to play in this. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 18:18, 20 April 2022 (UTC)

Thank you for this link. I would urge all contributors to complete the survey as it is suitable for all, from working taxonomists to citizen scientists. Andyboorman (talk) 20:14, 20 April 2022 (UTC)
Also, I hear your concern about research ethics. Short answer: no community-endorsed way to receive research approval in wiki. Best answer: register your research with a project page at meta:Research:Index. Although not community confirmed, registering there is the most accepted suggestion. If you want to maximize awesomeness, then make whatever promise you can to follow up on your research registration with reporting of results, then actually deliver when you have them. Typical researchers in this process spend an hour on registration and do not stress much over it. I took your survey, I see it as useful both for research and wiki, and I think these are thoughtful questions. It would be very interesting if you are able to tell a story about the outcome. Bluerasberry (talk) 21:43, 25 April 2022 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: I can report the results, they will be used in our policy development. We have published a series of papers on the issue, the GSLWG does have a page on Wikipedia: w:Global_Species_List_Working_Group where our previous publications are listed. I get this issue is not for all wikimedians, but it is very relevant to those interested in taxonomy, species, etc, I put a comment on this at the Tree of Life Project. I will definitely look at creating a project page as many parts of WMF will be impacted by this research. Thanks Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 01:48, 26 April 2022 (UTC)
Ping me if you make a research page, I will comment there to support. Bluerasberry (talk) 01:58, 26 April 2022 (UTC)

Let's talk about the Desktop ImprovementsEdit


Have you noticed that some wikis have a different desktop interface? Are you curious about the next steps? Maybe you have questions or ideas regarding the design or technical matters?

Join an online meeting with the team working on the Desktop Improvements! It will take place on 29 April 2022 at 13:00 UTC and 18:00 UTC on Zoom. Click here to join. Meeting ID: 88045453898. Dial by your location.


  • Update on the recent developments
  • Questions and answers, discussion


The meeting will not be recorded or streamed. Notes will be taken in a Google Docs file. Olga Vasileva (the Product Manager) will be hosting this meeting. The presentation part will be given in English.

We can answer questions asked in English, French, Italian, and Polish. If you would like to ask questions in advance, add them on the talk page or send them to

At this meeting, both Friendly space policy and the Code of Conduct for Wikimedia technical spaces apply. Zoom is not subject to the WMF Privacy Policy.

We hope to see you! SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 00:35, 26 April 2022 (UTC)

Template for a chapterEdit

How should Template:Iwan, et al., 2020 (about a chapter) be modified, in respect of Template:Iwan & Löbl, 2020 (the book in which the chapter appears)? Feel free to point to an example by way of an answer. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:24, 26 April 2022 (UTC)

Next steps: Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) and UCoC Enforcement GuidelinesEdit

The Community Affairs Committee of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees would like to thank everyone who participated in the recently concluded community vote on the Enforcement Guidelines for the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC).

The volunteer scrutinizing group has completed the review of the accuracy of the vote and has reported the total number of votes received as 2,283. Out of the 2,283 votes received, a total of 1,338 (58.6%) community members voted for the enforcement guidelines, and a total of 945 (41.4%) community members voted against it. In addition, 658 participants left comments with 77% of the comments written in English.

We recognize and appreciate the passion and commitment that community members have demonstrated in creating a safe and welcoming culture that stops hostile and toxic behavior, supports people targeted by such behavior, and encourages good faith people to be productive on the Wikimedia projects.

Even at this incomplete stage, this is evident in the comments received. While the Enforcement Guidelines did reach a threshold of support necessary for the Board to review, we encouraged voters, regardless of which way they were voting, to provide feedback on the elements of the enforcement guidelines that they felt needed to be changed or fixed, as well as why, in case it seemed advisable to launch a further round of edits that would address community concerns.

Foundation staff who have been reviewing comments have advised us of some of the emerging themes, and as a result we have decided as Community Affairs Committee to ask the Foundation to reconvene the drafting committee and to undertake another community engagement to refine the enforcement guidelines based on the community feedback received from the recently concluded vote.

For clarity, this feedback has been clustered into 4 sections as follows:

  1. To identify the type, purpose, and applicability of the training;
  2. To simplify the language for easier translation and comprehension by non-experts;
  3. To explore the concept of affirmation, including its pros and cons;
  4. To review the conflicting roles of privacy/victim protection and right to be heard.

Other issues may emerge during conversations, and particularly as the draft Enforcement Guidelines evolve, but we see these as the primary areas of concern for voters and are asking staff to facilitate review of these issues. After further engagement, the Foundation should re-run the community vote to evaluate the revamped Enforcement Outline to see if the new document is then ready for its official ratification.

Further, we are aware of the concerns with the note 3.1 in the Universal Code of Conduct Policy. We are directing the Foundation to facilitate a review of this language to ensure that the Policy meets its intended purposes of supporting a safe and inclusive community, without waiting for the planned review of the entire Policy at the end of year.

Again, we thank all who participated, thinking about these critical and difficult challenges and contributing to better approaches across the movement to working together well.



Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight (she/her)
Acting Chair, Community Affairs Committee
Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees
---SOyeyele (WMF) (talk) 15:50, 26 April 2022 (UTC)

2022 Board of Trustees Call for CandidatesEdit

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The Wikimedia community will vote to fill two seats on the Board in 2022. This is an opportunity to improve the representation, diversity, and expertise of the Board as a team.

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--SOyeyele (WMF) (talk) 15:50, 26 April 2022 (UTC)

Steven P(aul) SylvesterEdit

Does anyone know whether the "Steven P. Sylvester" mentioned in Template:Li et al., 2022c is identical to the author Steven Paul Sylvester here at Wikispecies? The latter is listed as "Sylvester, Steven P." at IPNI. Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 12:10, 27 April 2022 (UTC).

Seems to be the same person. IPNI states, he is working on Poaceae. and in Template:Peterson et al., 2020 his affiliation is Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, China. That is identical as in Template:Li et al., 2022c. --Thiotrix (talk) 16:45, 27 April 2022 (UTC)
Both Li et al., 2022c and Peterson et al., 2020 are listed in his Google Scholar and ResearchGate profiles. It is the same author, no question about it. Monster Iestyn (talk) 17:33, 27 April 2022 (UTC)
I have now linked both profiles to the Wikidata item, as well as his ORCID profile (which was on a duplicate item that is now merged), so these can be checked for publications by the same author through the Authority control bar in future. Monster Iestyn (talk) 17:38, 27 April 2022 (UTC)

─────── Thank you all. I thought so too, but figured I should ask since ORCID only mentions University of Zurich, University of Edinburgh and Bangor University, but not the Nanjing Forestry University. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 19:13, 27 April 2022 (UTC).

I linked several pre-existing items about his papers to his own entry on Wikidata, using the "Resolve Authors" tool. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:45, 7 May 2022 (UTC)

Charles Immanuel Forsyth MajorEdit

RE Charles Immanuel Forsyth Major... this author is cited in McKenna & Bell, 1997 (Classification of Mammals above the Species Level) as Forsyth Major, but in Mammal Species of the World (Wilson & Reeder) as Major, thus:

  • Major, C. I. F[orsyth]. 1896. Diagnoses of new mammals from Madagascar. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, ser. 6, 18:319-325. (+ 3 more similar).

Seems to me from information contained in the Wikispecies page that Wikispecies is correct in using the 2-name surname, and MSW is wrong (also e.g. the Wikipedia page - just checking that others agree... Cheers Tony Rees Tony 1212 (talk) 19:43, 27 April 2022 (UTC)

I agree with you, Tony 1212. Furthermore, so does for example:
The latter also lists "Major, Charles Forsyth", "Major, C. J. Forsyth" and "Forsyth Major, C. J." as rejected forms (although that's probably partly because of the "J." rather than the surname). Note however that some sources lists his surname as "Forsyth-Major", with a hyphen. Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 20:38, 27 April 2022 (UTC).
Also "Forsyth Major" in Neave (genus names that he erected in zoology), consistently so far as I can see (although have not checked exhaustively). Tony 1212 (talk) 22:16, 27 April 2022 (UTC)

Template MBGEdit

Hello. Can anybody fix {{MBG}} it not longer functions as designed, if you do not use the taxon ID. It seems to have started its problems after a recent Tropicos update. Thanks Andyboorman (talk) 17:31, 28 April 2022 (UTC)

Done. --Fagus (talk) 01:39, 30 April 2022 (UTC)
Thanks great work! Andyboorman (talk) 07:02, 30 April 2022 (UTC)


I note on the talk page the comment "The template is superfluous to Template:TROPICOS". Do we need both?

Also, why is the year stated twice? For example, the markup {{MBG|2014|Jan.|29}} renders as:

  • 2014. Rosales. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 2014 Jan. 29.

What does the first "2014" tell us? That year is not mentioned on the target page, which might have been published in 2013 or earlier, or updated in 2015 or afterwards (I note that one of its references was published in 2018). Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:08, 30 April 2022 (UTC)

Date of MBG when it was accessed, equivalent to date of publication for a paper or book. Could be superfluous or just how the source wishes to be cited. Andyboorman (talk) 15:21, 30 April 2022 (UTC)
But "2014 Jan. 29." is also the date it was accessed. The two "2014" are derived from a single parameter value. The target page in the example says "Cite this page: Missouri Botanical Garden. 30 Apr 2022 <>", and the current template output does not match that. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:27, 30 April 2022 (UTC)
As to second question Template:TROPICOS is superfluous as it requires the ID, whereas MBG does not and so is easier to use. However, both are extensively used and editors have distinct preferences so getting a consensus may be almost impossible. Finally doing a blanket replace will be impossible for MBG and should be easier for Tropicos. Andyboorman (talk) 15:26, 30 April 2022 (UTC)
In the absence of a stronger reason than "editors have distinct preferences", the two templates should be merged. I have no preference to the final name, but note that {{TROPICOS}} was created on 4 January 2011 and {{MBG}} on 3 January 2012‎ - unfortunately with different, and unnamed, parameter ordering. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:30, 30 April 2022 (UTC)
Totally disagree about the merger unless the search facility without the ID can be preserved for the common template. Date of creation is irrelevant given MBG was created to accommodate a search without an ID. I do not use Tropicos at all, so have a degree of prejudice. How about doing a count and the most common name is put forward as the winner? Andyboorman (talk) 15:51, 30 April 2022 (UTC)


I have given {{MBG}} an optional {{para|id}] parameter. It is now possible to make conversions, thus:

  • {{TROPICOS|2701607|2017|Nov.|26}} -> {{MBG|2017|Nov.|26|id=2701607}}

or simply:

  • {{TROPICOS|2701607|2017|Nov.|26}} -> {{MBG|2017|Nov.|26}}

I will accordingly mark {{TROPICOS}} as deprecated and request a bot to do conversions. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:53, 30 April 2022 (UTC)

Fine by me, obviously. Thanks Andyboorman (talk) 15:57, 30 April 2022 (UTC)
@Pigsonthewing: Unfortunately the new MBG does not work for taxa that do not have a WD id. Andyboorman (talk) 16:22, 30 April 2022 (UTC)
Yes it does; use |id= to give the Tropicos ID. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:39, 30 April 2022 (UTC)
@Pigsonthewing: Sorry I will rephrase. If you do not enter an ID or WD does not hold an ID then MBG does not do a search on the page name, as it used to and generates a blank - see Neja marginata. Andyboorman (talk) 17:29, 30 April 2022 (UTC)
And nor did it before the changes I made today. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:23, 30 April 2022 (UTC)
Here is another Magnolia betuliensis Andyboorman (talk) 19:07, 30 April 2022 (UTC)

@Pigsonthewing: Sorry to be a pain, but your changes to MBG are not at all helpful see one other example Cynoglosseae, which definitely worked OK. Not at all the best of both worlds. In my opinion it is the WD dependency that is the problem, whereas the use of a direct search on Tropicos worked fine. Suggest a revert to the original MBG/Tropicos templates and a rethink. Andyboorman (talk) 20:46, 30 April 2022 (UTC)

Again: this is not a result of my changes. As you yourself said at the top of this thread, the original MBG template "not [sic] longer functions as designed". Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:43, 1 May 2022 (UTC)
I should have been more explicit, as originally it searched Tropicos with a function that picked up the page name, which after a Tropicos update this do not happen. Oh well. Andyboorman (talk) 19:05, 1 May 2022 (UTC)

Shaoji Hu vs Shao-Ji HuEdit

Hello, there is something wrong here. The author page Shaoji Hu gives a list of article where the author is "SHA HU" not Shaoji Hu (e.g. They seems to be two different persons, "Sha Hu" from the College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, and "Shaoji Hu" from the Yunnan University, Kunming. I think we should create "Sha Hu" and that one of Shaoji Hu or Shao-Ji Hu, should be a redirect to the other. Am I right? @Accassidy: and @PeterR: who created the pages. Christian Ferrer (talk) 06:10, 30 April 2022 (UTC)

Good find. Yes, they appear to be two different authors. I have moved Shaoji Hu to Sha Hu. OhanaUnitedTalk page 06:23, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
Very great, thanks you. Christian Ferrer (talk) 14:37, 8 May 2022 (UTC)

Theodor HolmEdit

What should we do with the page Theodor Holm? IPNI makes clear there was no such person. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:41, 1 May 2022 (UTC)

Together with the information at IPNI linked by Andy above, please also see Herman Theodor Holm. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 18:10, 2 May 2022 (UTC).


Is it just me, or did the top portion of the WS logo got cut off and the text underneath "Wikispecies" gets really squished and impossible to read? OhanaUnitedTalk page 19:58, 1 May 2022 (UTC)

Looks fine here. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:07, 2 May 2022 (UTC)
Looks fine here as well, both on a desktop computer and in "desktop mode" on a cellular phone. (The lefthand-side menu with the WS logo isn't shown at all on a cellular phone in standard mobile view mode. I haven't checked how it looks on a tablet computer.) Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 18:23, 2 May 2022 (UTC).

Italicising work titles in WikidataEdit

I wish to draw colleagues' attention to Wikidata's property title in HTML (P6833); this allows HTML (note: not wiki-markup) to be included, not least to italicise taxon names in the titles of books, journal articles etc.

For example, for Chinese species of Pediobius Walker (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) (Q28937634), the value of that property is:

Chinese species of <i>Pediobius</i> Walker (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae)

which, of course renders as:

Chinese species of Pediobius Walker (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae)

-- Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:37, 2 May 2022 (UTC)

Editing news 2022 #1Edit

Read this in another languageSubscription list for this multilingual newsletter

New editors were more successful with this new tool.

The New topic tool helps editors create new ==Sections== on discussion pages. New editors are more successful with this new tool. You can read the report. Soon, the Editing team will offer this to all editors at the 20 Wikipedias that participated in the test. You will be able to turn it off at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-editing-discussion.

Whatamidoing (WMF) 18:55, 2 May 2022 (UTC)

New competition on English Wikipedia and related SiteNotice requestEdit

A popular article writing competition CEE Spring (about Central and Eastern Europe; now with special subcategory about Esperanto) is happening on the English Wikipedia until the 31st May 2022. I warmly invite you to participate, write some article and win a valuable prize! If you have question, I will happily answer it on the competition page talk.

Also, for more wide outreach, I have just asked for a CentralNotice, which should appear also in this project. If you have a comment on the request, you are welcome to write it on the request page. --KuboF Hromoslav (talk) 18:31, 3 May 2022 (UTC)

Matthew J Yoder and Matthew YoderEdit

Hoi, Could someone merge these two, they are the same person. It prevents a merge in Wikidata. Thanks, GerardM (talk) 14:46, 5 May 2022 (UTC)

@GerardM:   Done. The main Wikispecies author page is now Matthew J. Yoder to which Matthew Yoder is redirected, and the two Wikidata items have been merged into Q21387534. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 15:12, 5 May 2022 (UTC).

2022 Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees Election - Call for Election VolunteersEdit

The Movement Strategy and Governance team is looking for community members to serve as election volunteers in the upcoming Board of Trustees election.

The idea of the Election Volunteer Program came up during the 2021 Wikimedia Board of Trustees Election. This program turned out to be successful. With the help of Election Volunteers we were able to increase outreach and participation in the election by 1,753 voters over 2017. Overall turnout was 10.13%, 1.1 percentage points more, and 214 wikis were represented in the election.

There were a total of 74 wikis that did not participate in 2017 that produced voters in the 2021 election. Can you help increase the participation even more?

Election volunteers will help in the following areas:

  • Translate short messages and announce the ongoing election process in community channels
  • Optional: Monitor community channels for community comments and questions

Volunteers should:

  • Maintain the friendly space policy during conversations and events
  • Present the guidelines and voting information to the community in a neutral manner

Do you want to be an election volunteer and ensure your community is represented in the vote? Sign up here to receive updates. You can use the talk page for questions about translation.
--SOyeyele (WMF) (talk) 23:53, 5 May 2022 (UTC)

Thank you for the information. I've added a Wikispecies tweet about this in order to try and involve even more users:
@Wikispecies (May 6, 2022). "The Wikimedia Movement Strategy and Governance team is looking for community members to serve as election volunteers in the upcoming Board of Trustees election" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 02:27, 6 May 2022 (UTC).

Trove in authority control templateEdit

I have just added Trove IDs for works and people to {{Authority control}}. Examples may be seen in Bulletin of the Kagoshima Imperial College of Agriculture and Forestry and Henry Burton Bradley respectively. Trove is the National Library of Australia's metadata aggregator for libraries. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 22:00, 10 May 2022 (UTC)

Let's talk about the Desktop ImprovementsEdit


Have you noticed that some wikis have a different desktop interface? Are you curious about the next steps? Maybe you have questions or ideas regarding the design or technical matters?

Join an online meeting with the team working on the Desktop Improvements! It will take place on 17 May 2022 at 12:00 UTC and 19:00 UTC on Zoom. Click here to join. Meeting ID: 86217494304. Dial by your location.


  • Update on the recent developments
  • Questions and answers, discussion


The meeting will not be recorded or streamed. Notes will be taken in a Google Docs file. Olga Vasileva (the Product Manager) will be hosting this meeting. The presentation part will be given in English.

We can answer questions asked in English, Italian, Polish; also, only at the first meeting: Farsi, Vietnamese; only at the second meeting: Portuguese, Spanish, Russian. If you would like to ask questions in advance, add them on the talk page or send them to

At this meeting, both Friendly space policy and the Code of Conduct for Wikimedia technical spaces apply. Zoom is not subject to the WMF Privacy Policy.

We hope to see you! SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 05:02, 14 May 2022 (UTC)

Report on Voter Feedback from Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) Enforcement Guidelines Ratification Edit

Hello all,

The Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) project team has completed the analysis of the feedback accompanying the ratification vote on the Universal Code of Conduct Enforcement Guidelines.

Following the completion of the UCoC Enforcement Guidelines Draft in 2022, the guidelines were voted on by the Wikimedian community. Voters cast votes from 137 communities, with the top 9 communities being: English, German, French, Russian, Polish, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Italian Wikipedias, and Meta-wiki.

Those voting had the opportunity to provide comments on the contents of the Draft document. 658 participants left comments. 77% of the comments are written in English. Voters wrote comments in 24 languages with the largest numbers in English (508), German (34), Japanese (28), French (25), and Russian (12).

A report will be sent to the Revision Drafting Committee who will refine the enforcement guidelines based on the community feedback received from the recently concluded vote. A public version of the report is published on Meta-wiki here. The report is available in translated versions on Meta-wiki. Please help translate to your language

Again, we thank all who participated in the vote and discussions. We invite everyone to contribute during the next community discussions. More information about the Universal Code of Conduct and Enforcement Guidelines can be found on Meta-wiki.

On behalf of the Universal Code of Conduct project team
--SOyeyele (WMF) (talk) 15:57, 23 May 2022 (UTC)