This page describes the character and usage of bibliographic references in this data service. It describes the various roles that references play in the database, the parameters used to select them, and the values that are used to report these different roles.
Every piece of data entered into the Paleobiology Database comes from a source, which may be either published or unpublished. Each of these sources is entered into the References table in the database, and every occurrence, collection, specimen, taxon, and opinion record contains a field named reference_no which links it to the record for its source in the References table.
When querying for any of these other data types, you can always ask for just those records that are linked to a particular reference, or to references from a particular publication or with particular authors. When querying for references themselves, you can ask specifically for references that are linked to occurrences, opinions, and so on. The parameters used for this are described below.
It is important to remember that the author of a taxonomic name or opinion may not be the same as the author of the linked reference. The reference may be a secondary source, which quotes or mentions the actual author of the name or opinion. There is a separate set of parameters for querying for taxa and opinions by author.
The following parameters are available when querying for occurrences, specimens, collections, taxa, and opinions. You can also use them when querying for references, in which case they select which references to return. If you use two or more of these parameters together in the same query, they are conjoined. That is, a data record is selected only if it is linked to a reference that satisfies all of the given parameters together, or a reference is selected only if it satisfies all of them together.
Return data records that are linked to one of the specified references. The value of this parameter should be one or more reference identifiers, as a comma-separated list.
Return data records that are linked to any reference with one of the specified authors. You may specify more than one, as a comma-separated list. You may specify authors using any of the following patterns:
Return data records that are linked to any reference whose primary author is one of the specified names. You may specify names using the same patterns as with ref_author. If you use a name like Smith and Jones, you will get back records that are linked to any reference for which Smith is the primary author and Jones is also an author.
Return data records that are linked to a reference whose title matches the specified string. You can use % and _ as wildcards, but the value of this parameter must contain at least one letter.
Return data records that are linked to a reference whose "publication title" matches the specified string. You can use % and _ as wildcards, but the value of this parameter must contain at least one letter. You can use this field, for example, to select all articles from a particular journal or monograph series.
Return data records that are linked to a reference that was published during the indicated year or range of years. The parameter value must match one of the following patterns:
The following parameter is used only when querying for references themselves, using any of the operations listed here:
Return references that have any of the specified roles in the database. The value of this parameter should be one or more of the following, as a comma-separated list. If you are selecting references using the new download form, the second column of this table gives the label of the corresponding checkbox on the form.
If your query also includes other parameters such as a base taxon name, occurrence location, and so on, then references are only selected if their linked records satisfy those parameters.
When you query for references, the resulting records will contain a field named ref_type (rtp in the compact vocabulary). This field will contain a list of one or more of the the following codes, separated by commas:
|PBDB value||Compact value||Description|
A reference of this type provides the authority for at least one taxonomic name. It may either be the published source of the name, or it may quote an earlier source.
A reference of this type provides the authority for a taxonomic name variant that is not currently accepted.
A reference of this type provides at least one opinion that is selected as the classification opinion for its subject taxon.
A reference of this type provides at least one opinion that is not selected as a classification opinon.
A reference of this type has at least one fossil occurrence entered from it.
A reference of this type has at least one fossil specimen entered from it.
A reference of this type is the primary reference for at least one fossil collection.
A reference of this type plays an unspecified role in the database.
If you want to know exactly how many opinions, occurrences, taxa, etc. were entered from each reference, you can include the output block counts. This will include the following set of output fields. Note that all counts are restricted to just those taxa, occurrences, specimens, and collections which match the parameters given in the query. In other words, these counts do not necessarily reflect the total number of taxa, occurrences, etc. entered from each reference.
The number of distinct taxa associated with this reference
The number of taxa for which this reference provides the authority
The number of taxa for which this reference is the source for a name variant that is not currently accepted.
The number of classification opinions entered from this reference
The number of opinions not selected for classification entered from this reference
The number of occurrences entered from this reference
The number of specimens entered from this reference
The number of collections for which this is the primary reference
This service is provided by the Paleobiology Database, hosted by the Department of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
If you have questions about this data service, or wish to report a bug, please contact the database administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org