This function is composed of a series of name-checking routines for cleaning and parsing scientific names; i.e., unify writing style. It removes 1) family names of animals or plants pre-pended to species names, 2) qualifiers denoting the uncertain or provisional status of taxonomic identification (e.g., confer, species, affinis), and 3) infraspecific terms, for example, variety (var.), subspecies (subsp), forma (f.), and their spelling variations. It also includes applications to 4) standardize names, i.e., capitalize only the first letter of the genus name and remove extra whitespaces), and 5) parse names, i.e., separate author, date, annotations from taxon name.

bdc_clean_names(sci_names, save_outputs = FALSE)



character string. Containing scientific names.


logical. Should the outputs be saved? Default = FALSE.


A five-column data.frame including

  • scientificName: original names supplied

  • .uncer_terms: indicates the presence of taxonomic uncertainty terms

  • .infraesp_names: indicates the presence of infraspecific terms

  • name_clean: scientific names resulting from the cleaning and parsing processes

  • quality: an index indicating the quality of parsing process. It ranges from 0 to 4, being 1 no problem detected, 4 serious problems detected; a value of 0 indicates no interpretable name that was not parsed).

If save_outputs == TRUE, a data.frame containing all tests of the cleaning names process and the results of the parsing names process is saved in "Output/Check/02_parse_names.csv".


Terms denoting uncertainty or provisional status of taxonomic identification as well as infraspecific terms were obtained from Sigoviniet al. (2016; doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12594). More details about the names parse process can be found in gnparser.

See also


if (FALSE) {
scientificName <- c(
  "Fridericia bahiensis (Schauer ex. DC.) L.G.Lohmann",
  "Peltophorum dubium (Spreng.) Taub. (Griseb.) Barneby",
  "Gymnanthes edwalliana (Pax & K.Hoffm.) Laurenio-Melo & M.F.Sales",
  "LEGUMINOSAE Senna aff. organensis (Glaz. ex Harms) H.S.Irwin & Barneby"

bdc_clean_names(scientificName, save_outputs = FALSE)