The development of the TaxonConceptSchema can potentially fulfill the requirements of number of distinct user communities. However, the requirements of these different users may conflict with each other

  1. Global species databases, list providers, aggregators and portals (Biodiversity Projects) e.g GBIF, IPNI, Species2000 etc.

    • Require a transfer schema for data exchange
    • Want to use the schema to carry data and act as a wrapper for requests and responses
    • May not want to carry 'unecessary' information
    • But dont want to omit 'important' information or corrupt or misrepresent their data
    • Are already developing exchange standards for specimen details (e.g. ABCD, DiGIR) and names (e.g. uBio, ECAT)
  2. Working Scientists, biologists, ecologists etc. (e.g. SEEK users)

    • Want a name lookup and resolution service
    • Which resolves names used or queried accurately and transparently, or with controllable degrees of confidence
    • Napier argue that this can only be achieved by via Taxon Concepts
    • Name resolution services being developed to date are largely name not concept based (e.g. uBio, ECAT)
  3. Working Taxonomists require taxonomically accurate representations of Taxon Concepts

    • Which capture the full semantics explicitly
    • Allowing them to reason meaningfully about concepts
    • And to represent complex relationships between concepts

Many users in Group 1 have historically worked exclusively with Names, not Taxon Concepts, and focussed on Name based resolution of data. This situation is currently evolving as the importance of representing the concepts behind names becomes evident. However, some users retain a preferrence for light weight request/response schemas (although a heavy weight standard schema can be used in a light weight fashion if only a few data elements are required).
User Group 2 may not consider taxonomic issues to be important, but purely wish to resolve bare name terms. However, names are nearly always used to represent some underlying/associated concept.
User Group 3 have a deep understanding of taxonomy, nomenclatural rules, typification etc. and demand a comprehensive structured representation of a taxon concept. However, they may still wish to work with bare names and represent realtionships between them, without referring to concepts. (Note: uBio have attempted to solve this problem by separating objective and subjective relationships between names claiming that whereas many aspects of nomenclature are not disputed, taxonomic classifications are inherently unstable, disputed hypotheses).

Are the requirements of the various user groups compatible, or if not which is the most important community to satisfy with this schema.