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Version 2. F1000Res. 2013 Sep 18 [revised 2013 Oct 28];2:191. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.2-191.v2. eCollection 2013.

taxize: taxonomic search and retrieval in R.

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Biology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada.
Institute for Environmental Sciences, University Koblenz-Landau, Landau, Germany.


All species are hierarchically related to one another, and we use taxonomic names to label the nodes in this hierarchy. Taxonomic data is becoming increasingly available on the web, but scientists need a way to access it in a programmatic fashion that's easy and reproducible. We have developed taxize, an open-source software package (freely available from for the R language. taxize provides simple, programmatic access to taxonomic data for 13 data sources around the web. We discuss the need for a taxonomic toolbelt in R, and outline a suite of use cases for which taxize is ideally suited (including a full workflow as an appendix). The taxize package facilitates open and reproducible science by allowing taxonomic data collection to be done in the open-source R platform.

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