Taxonx is a XML schema for encoding taxonomic literature in order to


  • Create open, stable, persistent, full text digital surrogates of taxonomic treatments
  • Identify taxonomic treatments and their major structural components to enable networked reference and citation
  • Identify lower level textual data such scientific names, localities, morphological characters, and bibliographic citations to facilitate their extraction by, and integration with external applications and resources
  • Study and describe the structure of systematics publications by creating few typical corpora of literature, such as entire journal (eg AMNH Novitates), across taxa (e.g all ant systematics papers post 1995), or faunistic (e.g. all ant systematics paper covering Madagascar ranging from 1758 to 2006)

TaxonX is a lightweight and flexible schema which should be quickly learned and may be applied to the wide variety of formatting present in legacy document as well as for new publications. It permits, and sometimes relies on (see use of MODS for file-level bibliographical metadata), use of external schemata. It has loose content requirements allows for instances to be encoded over time and at many levels of granularity, while maintaining validity through iterations. Additionally, TaxonX contains mechanisms for semantic normalization of the data contained in treatments.

The TaxonX schema and documentation is here