About CORIS Data

Notes on Biological Data

Many data sets, and their metadata, include lists of species about which data are available. A consolidated, alphabetical list of all names found in CoRIS metadata can be viewed as a spreadsheet comma delimited file (xls, 452 kb). The list includes scientific names with their corresponding higher taxa, based on the NOAA classification standard of the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). The taxonomy of the names included in this list can be used as a standard without going to the ITIS Web site.

The format is: Genus species - Family - Order - Class - Phylum - Kingdom. Although alphabetically listed by genus / species, users of the spread sheet file can sort the list as to suit their needs. CoRIS uses the five kingdom classification scheme: Monera, Fungi, Protista, Plantae, Animalia.

Protists, depending on the group considered, are treated within ITIS according to either the zoological code (Protozoa) or the botanical code (algae), and in some cases, according to both. Also, the algae are often classified into multiple kingdoms. ITIS makes practical decisions as to the placement of these groups within the five kingdom framework.

The list can be used to add species names and their higher taxa while creating metadata. It contains taxon levels required by CoRIS; however, metadata authors may also list sub-, super-, infra- and other taxonomic ranks, as they wish. For species not yet included in ITIS, CoRIS requests that a reference to the classification authority be included with the metadata description.

This species list is not conclusive and is updated periodically as "new" species are listed in the metadata records. Before creating a metadata record, users should check this site for the latest update.

Notes on the Data Sets

Following are a few explanatory notes that users should keep in mind while accessing data and information.

1. Some metadata records describe a collection, such as coastal aerial photographs. For a collection, a single metadata record may be associated with hundreds of individual products. In most of these cases, Map Search results show the locations of individual products in the collection for direct access. For some collections, Text Search returns a description of the collection plus links to products that fit within the date and geographic criteria of the search.

2. Some data sets have been filtered to exclude data products that are located more than 100 miles from coral reefs, as identified by ReefBase. This is important to remember for larger collections of information, such as coastal aerial photographs.

3. Some data and information products, such as aerial photographs, were developed for purposes other than coral reef studies. They are included here, however, for their potential value as supplementary information.

4. Data providers are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of metadata records, and data and information offerings. Data providers are identified in the metadata records and should be contacted directly with any questions.