Global Names developers Dmitry Mozzherin and Richard Pyle were invited to attend a workshop called “Names in November”, organized by the Catalog of Life and GBIF and hosted in Leiden. The three-day meeting involved more than twenty people from key taxonomic and nomenclatural organizations, and focused on discussing ways that a global information system of taxonomy, including both names data and accepted species information, could be designed to more seamlessly interconnect biodiversity data through organism names. Although the theme of the meeting was certainly not new (many participants in this meeting had attended similar meetings going back decades discussing essentially the same idea), the tone of the discussion was refreshing in that it focused comparatively little on politics and technical details, and instead concentrated on identifying whether such a shared taxonomic infrastructure was even possible (given the political, financial, and technical circumstances currently existing within the main likely partners), and what conditions would need to be met.

Many of the points that participants agreed on in terms of needs and services very closely matched the fundamental goals and infrastructure we have developed (and continue to develop) within the context of Global Names. Now that GN is much more closely coordinating with the Catalog of Life, GN data indexes and services will likely play an important role in implementing the shared global taxonomy resource envisioned during the meeting. Following this meeting, we have a renewed sense of focus within GN development to finish harmonizing integration of GNI and GNUB services, and especially to rapidly increase the effort to bulk-populate GNUB from existing data.