Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work › Editorial responsibility
I am a taxonomic editor on this international website. More info: The aim of a World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) is to provide an authoritative and comprehensive list of names of marine organisms, including information on synonymy. While the highest priority goes to valid names, other names in use are included so that this register can serve as a guide to interpret taxonomic literature.
The content of WoRMS is controlled by taxonomic and thematic experts, not by database managers. WoRMS has an editorial management system where each taxonomic group is represented by an expert who has the authority over the content, and is responsible for controlling the quality of the information. Each of these main taxonomic editors can invite several specialists of smaller groups within their area of responsibility to join them.
This register of marine species grew out of the European Register of Marine Species (ERMS), and its combination with several other species registers maintained at the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ). Rather than building separate registers for all projects, and to make sure taxonomy used in these different projects is consistent, VLIZ developed a consolidated database called ‘Aphia’. A list of marine species registers included in Aphia is available here. MarineSpecies.org is the web interface for the marine taxa available in this Aphia database. WoRMS combines information from Aphia with other authoritative marine species lists which are maintained by others (e.g. AlgaeBase, FishBase), the so-called 'externally hosted and managed species databases'.