Template talk:ITIS

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Proposed changes[edit]

I propose making the following changes to this template. If there is no objection, or if there is consensus, I will move these changes into the active template on July 7, three days from today. The new code is in the sandbox and test cases are on the test cases page.

  1. Upgrade code.
  2. Depricate the showITIS parameter. The brief display option will never show "Integrated Taxonomic Information System." showITIS is currently used on only 2 pages and those cases are in the brief format.
  3. Remove (TSN 12345) from the text displayed. Having the number displayed is not reader friendly, IMHO. The number will be displayed as a tooltip. I'm not sure about the tooltip thing and suggestions are welcome.
  4. The brief output format will change from TNS 12345 to ITIS. The tooltip will be available.
  5. Provide a synonyms for ID. The parameter name tsn is easier to type and TSN means Taxonomic serial number. Also id will be available as a synonym for conformity with other citation templates.

I will do any clean up work that might be necessary. Thanks.  –droll [chat] 21:46, 4 July 2010 (UTC)


Italics should should not be automatically added by the template (and I have removed them). The reasons for this are twofold. Firstly, not all taxa should be italicised; ITIS can be used to refer to families and above just as much as it can for genera and below. Secondly, many articles, quite reasonably, use explicit italicisation, which produces ill-formatting if the template also tries to italicise the text. For example, {{ITIS|id=100182|taxon=''Anurida maritima''}} should produce:

"Anurida maritima". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 

and not:

"'Anurida maritima'". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 

--Stemonitis (talk) 09:06, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Good point. I was wondering about this when I was cleaning up the template. It seemed to me that either the names should be italicize of the shouldn't. It would seem strange if mice get italicized and elefants don't. Do you know if there is some criteria for this sort of thing. I do some looking around and see what I can find but if you know then we can change the template.  –droll [chat] 18:47, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
There is a strong – almost universal – tradition that taxa around the ranks of genus (including supergenus, subgenus, etc.) and below (species, subspecies, varieties) are italicised, but taxa around the rank of family (including subfamily, tribe, etc.) and above are not italicised. The ICBN, at least, suggests italicising all formal names, but almost nobody does this. The rank can be found from the taxobox, or from the ITIS page, and some names are easy, because the endings for certain ranks are standardised (albeit differently in the different codes), but there are enough awkward cases to mean that there is no foolproof way to tell from the text of the template what rank a taxon is at. That is why the template cannot be altered to automatically italicise taxa, and why the italics must be added manually on a case-by-case basis. --Stemonitis (talk) 19:10, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
A "quick fix" would be to create two new templates, {{ITIS highertaxa}} and {{ITIS lowertaxa}} or similar, where the former produce a taxon name in normal text, and the latter a taxon name in italics. The downside would of course be that the articles that use the presently available template would have to be manually edited to reflect the change... –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 16:46, 24 August 2010 (UTC).
I think that having two templates will just add confusion. My opinion is that names that required italicization should be italicized using wiki markup as the example on the documentation page now shows. I don't think that splitting it is going to help. Note that this is a problem for all templates of this sort. –droll [chat] 19:42, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Changed documentation[edit]

Please look over the template documentation. I'm hoping this will clarify the issues discussed above. As always, please fix errors. –droll [chat] 20:15, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Requesting interwiki compatibility (WikipediaBioReferences support)[edit]

I'm not sure if administrators will still maintain this, but this template really should be updated to be compatible with ITIS template formats on other wikis, the same format the WikipediaBioReferences utility uses. See (fr:Utilisateur:Liné1/WikipediaBioReferences). Take a look at the template tag format on commons:Template:ITIS, species:Template:ITIS, fr:Modèle:ITIS, and others. The format is:

{{ITIS | 180092 | ''Homo sapiens'' Linnaeus, 1758}}

But this en:wikipedia template requires:

{{ITIS | id=180092 | taxon=''Homo sapiens'' Linnaeus, 1758}}

This breaks compatibility with many other wikis. I should be able to copy ITIS template tags from other wikis and paste them into en:wikipedia and have them work, but right now I get an error:

Error: You must specify the id when using {{ITIS}}.

So far I have imported/translated the following WikipediaBioReferences/commons compatible templates: Template:GISD, Template:EFloras, Template:CatalogueofLife species, Template:Tropicos and I am very frustrated that the en:wikipedia ITIS tag is not compatible across wikiprojects. I hope it can be updated to support an absence of the "id=" characters, while also not breaking currently used ITIS tags.--MCEllis (talk) 20:02, 3 February 2016 (UTC)