Frequently asked questions
Here we have compiled general answers to questions users had about LPSN. For explanations of terms and abbreviations and for information on specific topics please see the LPSN glossary.
Can you include my publication in LPSN?
Publications listed in LPSN are either original proposals of taxon names, formal ☞ emendations of descriptions of taxon names, or publications related to notes. A publication with a proposal of a taxon name or emendation can be added only if:
Publications with proposals of taxon names or emendations will be exchanged only if the wrong publication is given in LPSN.
A publication related to a note can be added at any time provided a statement is given that can serve as an informative new note, refers to a specific taxon name and originates from that publication. If you are aware of such a publication please send us the taxon name, the suggested text of the note if applicable, and the DOI or a link to the PDF file of that publication.
Note that a description of a strain that is not accompanied by the proposal of a taxon name will not be considered for inclusion.
- it proposed a taxon name – including ☞ Candidatus or any other name that is not ☞ validly published – that is not yet listed in LPSN;
- it makes an emendation that is not yet listed in LPSN.
Why is the full information on the species within a genus not displayed on the page of the genus any more?
The new design was chosen to prepare for the future of LPSN and to create a sustainable structure for collecting and displaying an increasing amount of information over time. Having one page per taxon name throughout irrespective of the taxonomic category should make navigation through LPSN easier for users.
Individual LPSN pages for genus names used to list the full information for all their species names (and subspecies names, if any). For navigation downwards one needed to scroll through potentially a lot of text. But because of past, present and future additions over time (new species in same genus, emendations of genus or species, synonyms, notes etc.) it seemed advisable to generate more pages instead of longer pages. It also appeared to be a straightforward and consistent design to create one page per taxon name throughout. Because the pages for all individual taxon names now have the same structure irrespective of the taxonomic category it should be rather easy to learn how to navigate through LPSN. However, all the species belonging to a genus are listed under the child taxa section of the genus entry.
In addition, it is now possible to move from one species of a certain genus to another species of that genus by using the “siblings” button in the upper right corner. Having each species on its own page means more clicking but having all species of a genus on a single page would mean more scrolling. Navigation using the “parent” and “children” buttons should also be straightforward and intuitive.
Where can I find the hierarchical classification?
Information on the hierarchical classification is available as:
- list of parent taxa, in order, visible on the category pages (Domain to Species) if you click on the arrowhead on the left side or on "Open all lineages" (unless there is no immediate parent taxon);
- list of child taxa visible on the category pages (Domain to Species) if you click on "Show [child category] list ..." or on "Open all [child category] lists" (unless there are no child taxa);
- entry for the parent taxon on each page for a single taxon name (unless there is no parent taxon);
- list of child taxa on each page for a single taxon name (unless there are no child taxa);
- navigation option "parent" in the upper right corner on each page for a single taxon name (unless there is no parent taxon);
- navigation option "siblings" in the upper right corner on each page for a single taxon name (unless there are no sibling taxa);
- navigation option "children" in the upper right corner on each page for a single taxon name (unless there are no child taxa).
Where can I find the geographic origin of strains?
The geographic origin and other source information for strains can be found in BacDive either by searching there directly or by following the BacDive link in the LPSN species entry when available ("See detailed strain information at BacDive").
Is it possible that LPSN genera lack species?
Yes, temporarily. LPSN attempts to display information as soon as possible once it has achieved a certain degree of completeness and underwent a certain number of checks. This may yield entries for genera that are not yet linked to an entry for a species, families that show no genera, orders that show no families, etc. Such entries should not be read as an indication of really missing child taxa. For analogous reasons LPSN generates stubs or placeholders for parent taxa.
The only alternative is to postpone the display of parent taxa until all expected child taxa can be displayed, and to postpone the display of child taxa until their parent taxa have been entered. This approach would create problems of its own.
Is it possible that the year of an authority changes?
Unfortunately, yes. The problem is related to “online first” or other preliminary publications that do not indicate the final volume, issue, and/or page numbers. In such cases the year of the first online publication may differ from the year of the final volume. Since the final year cannot be predicted with certainty from the first online publication, LPSN initially uses the year of the first online appearance of some paper and may later on be forced to update the year. This is annoying but in the view of the LPSN maintainers it is not a problem that is caused by LPSN. Also note that PubMed behaves in the same way, as publication years given in PubMed entries can get updated for apparently the same reason.
The only alternative is to postpone the display of a taxon name until the final version of the citation gets published by the journal. This approach would create problems of its own.
Can LPSN supply strains?
No, LPSN cannot supply strains. (Not even DSMZ strains.) However, LPSN does list type strains of taxa and where possible links directly to those strains in culture collections that have online catalogues – strains can be ordered directly from these collections.
Is it possible that a type-strain deposit indicated on LPSN is not accessible any more?
LPSN primarily aims at accurately representing literature data. Alleged type-strain deposits found in the literature can later on well turn out to be not viable any more, or to not correspond to the description of their species or subspecies, or to be contaminated. Fixing such issues in a proactive way is beyond the scope of LPSN (and beyond our resources, for that matter). We are happy to include information from the according collection or from the scientific literature about the need to delete records of type-strain deposits. If you have proof for such cases, please let us know. This particularly holds if the lack of deposits puts a name in danger of not being validly published.
Please do not send questions about the accessibility of deposits primarily to LPSN. Instead, please first contact the according collection or the authors who proposed the type strain. For instance, DSMZ provides a list of curators to contact about their deposits.
Is there a list of taxonomic changes for a certain year?
While there is no list of taxonomic changes as such, one can use the advanced search by selecting "validly published" and "correct name" and entering the year of interest into the authority field. The result comes pretty close to the list of taxonomic changes published in that year.