The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) describes itself as "a database of the names and associated basic bibliographical details of seed plants, ferns and lycophytes." Coverage of plant names is best at the rank of species and genus. It includes basic bibliographical details, associated with the names, and its goals include eliminating the need for repeated reference to primary sources for basic bibliographic information about plant names.
The IPNI also maintains a list of standardized author abbreviations. These were initially based on Brummitt & Powell (1992), but new names and abbreviations are constantly added.
The IPNI provides names that have appeared in scholarly publications, with the objective of providing an index of published names rather than prescribing the accepted botanical nomenclature.The Plant List, a complementary project which was unveiled in 2010, aims to determine which are accepted species names.
The use of IPNI is free of charge. A similar project, which lists names of fungi, is the Index Fungorum.