The Zoological Record

Last updated
The Zoological Record
Producer Clarivate Analytics
History1865 – present
Languages English
Providers Clarivate Analytics, Ovid Technologies, Dialog, ProQuest, EBSCO Information Services
Disciplines Zoology
Temporal coverage1864 – present
No. of recordsover 3,500,000
Print edition
Print titleThe Zoological Record
Print dates1864–2016
ISSN 0144-3607

The Zoological Record (ZR) is an electronic index of zoological literature that also serves as the unofficial register of scientific names in zoology.

A bibliographic database is a database of bibliographic records, an organized digital collection of references to published literature, including journal and newspaper articles, conference proceedings, reports, government and legal publications, patents, books, etc. In contrast to library catalogue entries, a large proportion of the bibliographic records in bibliographic databases describe articles, conference papers, etc., rather than complete monographs, and they generally contain very rich subject descriptions in the form of keywords, subject classification terms, or abstracts.

Zoology is the branch of biology that studies the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct, and how they interact with their ecosystems. The term is derived from Ancient Greek ζῷον, zōion, i.e. "animal" and λόγος, logos, i.e. "knowledge, study".


It was started as a print publication in 1864 by the Zoological Society of London, as The Record of Zoological Literature, and changed its name to the Zoological Record in 1870. From 1980 to 2004, the ZR was published by BIOSIS, from 2004 to 2016 it was published by Thomson Reuters, and from 2016 to the present it has been published by Clarivate Analytics. The print version ceased in 2016, but the publication continues as an electronic index. [1]

Zoological Society of London English learned society in zoology

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is a charity devoted to the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. It was founded in 1826.

Thomson Reuters Canada-based media company

Thomson Reuters Corporation is a Canadian multinational mass media and information firm. The firm was founded in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where it is headquartered at 333 Bay Street in Downtown Toronto. Thomson Reuters shares are cross listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.

Clarivate Analytics American ananlytics company

Clarivate Analytics is a company that owns and operates a collection of subscription-based services focused largely on analytics, including scientific and academic research, patent analytics, regulatory standards, trademark protection, pharmaceutical and biotechnology intelligence, domain brand protection and intellectual property management.. The services include Web of Science, Cortellis, Derwent Innovation, Derwent World Patents Index, CompuMark, MarkMonitor, Techstreet, Publons, EndNote, Kopernio, and ScholarOne.


In 1864, Albert Günther and a group of zoologists associated with the British Museum and the Zoological Society came together to begin work on The Record of Zoological Literature, the first volume of which was published in 1865 by John Van Voorst, covering zoological literature that had been published in 1864. This work was intended to be an English language counterpart to the German language zoological index Archiv für Naturgeschichte , but without the Archiv's publication delays. After the first six volumes were published, Van Voorst withdrew as publisher due to a lack of profits from the work. Concerned zoologists then formed the Zoological Association and published volumes 7–22 (1870–1885) as the Zoological Record. In 1886, the Zoological Association passed the publication duties on to the Zoologial Society. In 1900 a competing publication, the International Catalogue of Scientific Literature , began publication. Section N of the Catalogue was intended to cover zoology, which caused subscription losses for the Zoological Record despite reviews stating that the Zoological Record was a superior publication. However, after negotiations, the Zoological Record itself became section N of the Catalogue. This arrangement ended with the advent of World War I. [2]

British Museum National museum in the Bloomsbury area of London

The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world.

John Van Voorst (1804–1898) was an English publisher, especially of natural history books.

Archiv für Naturgeschichte was a German-language journal for natural history. It was founded by A. F. A. Wiegmann in 1835. The journal was published in Berlin from 1835 to 1926. There were 92 published volumes. From 1912 to 1926 each volume was published in two sections, namely, Abteilung A: Original-Arbeiten & Abteilung B: Jahres-Berichte. Abteilung A published original articles on zoology. Abteilung B published yearly reports on zoological articles published in the preceding year.

In 1980, the Zoological Society of London joined forces with BIOSIS to co-produce the Zoological Record. This co-production helped get rid of the three year lag in the publication of the index by instituting a "catch up" program to bring The Zoological Record up-to-date. This program was completed in 1988. [3] In January 2001, BIOSIS partnered with Cambridge Scientific Abstracts to produce a related database, Zoological Record Plus, which included abstracts from the Biological Sciences database produced by CSA. [4] February 2004 saw the acquisition of BIOSIS by Thomson ISI, again changing the producer of The Zoological Record. [5] Following the merger of Thomson and Reuters, Zoological Record was produced by Thomson Reuters. As of 2016, it is published by Clarivate Analytics in electronic format only.

The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) was an academic publishing service, founded by Eugene Garfield in Philadelphia in 1960. ISI offered scientometric and bibliographic database services. Its specialty was citation indexing and analysis, a field pioneered by Garfield.


The Zoological Record began coverage of different phyla in different years, [2] and as phyla have changed in both name and classification over time, the sections covering those phyla have also changed. What follows is a list of the phyla covered in the Zoological Record for different years:

In biology, a phylum is a level of classification or taxonomic rank below kingdom and above class. Traditionally, in botany the term division has been used instead of phylum, although the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants accepts the terms as equivalent. Depending on definitions, the animal kingdom Animalia or Metazoa contains approximately 35 phyla, the plant kingdom Plantae contains about 14, and the fungus kingdom Fungi contains about 8 phyla. Current research in phylogenetics is uncovering the relationships between phyla, which are contained in larger clades, like Ecdysozoa and Embryophyta.

1865 [6] 1900 [7] 1968 [2] 2007
1. Mammalia 1. General Subjects 1. Comprehensive zoology 1. Comprehensive zoology
2. Aves 2. Mammalia 2. Protozoa 2. Protozoa
3. Reptilia 3. Aves 3. Porifera 3. Porifera & Archaeocyatha
4. Pisces 4. Reptilia & Batrachia 4. Coelenterata 4. Coelenterata & Ctenophora
5. Mollusca 5. Pisces 5. Echinodermata 5. Echinodermata
6. Molluscoida 6. Tunicata 6. Vermes 6A. Platyhelminthes & Nematoda etc.
7. Crustacea 7. Mollusca 7. Brachiopoda 6B. Annelida & Miscellaneous minor phyla
8. Arachnida 8. Brachiopoda 8. Bryozoa 6C. Conodonta & Fossil miscellanea
9. Myriopoda 9. Bryozoa 9. Mollusca 7. Brachiopoda
10. Insecta 10. Crustacea 10. Crustacea 8. Bryozoa (Polyzoa) & Entoprocta
    Coleoptera 11. Arachnida 11. Trilobita 9. Mollusca
    Hymenoptera 12. Myriopoda & Prototracheata 12. Arachnida 10. Crustacea
    Lepidoptera 13. Insecta 13. Insecta 11. Trilobitomorpha
    Diptera 14. Echinoderma 14. Protochordata 12. Arachnida & Smaller arthropod groups
    Neuroptera 15. Vermes 15. Pisces 13A. General Insecta & smaller orders
    Orthoptera 16. Cœlenterata 16. Amphibia 13B. Coleoptera
    Rhynchota 17. Spongiæ 17. Reptilia 13C. Diptera
11. Rotifera 18. Protozoa 18. Aves 13D. Lepidoptera
12. Annelida Alphabetical Index of New Names of Genera and Subgenera 19. Mammalia 13E. Hymenoptera
13. Helminthes 20. List of new genera, etc. 13F. Hemiptera
14. Echinodermata 14. Protochordata
15. Cœlenterata 15. Pisces
16. Protozoa 16. Amphibia
17. Reptilia
18. Aves
19. Mammalia
20. List of new taxonomic names

Zoological names

There has never been a single official repository for the recording of zoological names, despite the widespread recognition in the scientific community of the need for a comprehensive database of living organisms. [8] [9] [10] The ZR remains the unofficial record of zoological names since it indexes approximately 90% of the world literature on zoological literature.

In 1995, the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature was under development for the revised fourth edition (to be published in 1999). In the development, a recommendation was made for a process of "international notification" for new names in zoology. Since the Zoological Record indexes approximately 90% of the world literature on zoological nomenclature, it was seen as a good starting place for that process of notification. In response to this need, BIOSIS developed the Index to Organism Names (ION), a free and freely accessible database that serves as an index to those names published in the Zoological Record. [9] When BIOSIS was purchased by Thomson Reuters, ION was updated with names from additional databases, such as BIOSIS Previews and Biological Abstracts.[ citation needed ]

Similar biological nomenclature organizations and databases exist, such as the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA), the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), Species 2000, and the Taxonomic Database Working Group (TDWG). [9] Web-based collaborative projects also exist, such as the Tree of Life Web Project, Encyclopedia of Life, Catalogue of Life, and Wikispecies.

Online availability

The Zoological Record is one of the few extremely important historical publications in the field of zoological nomenclature that are not available at open access to the public in a digitised image format, for example at the Biodiversity Heritage Library or the Internet Archive. In the United States there are however no legal restrictions to digitisation for the volumes that appeared prior to 1923, since their copyrights have expired and they are in the public domain. [11]

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The Index to Organism Names (ION) is an extensive compendium of scientific names of taxa at all ranks in the field of zoology, compiled from the Zoological Record by its operators as a publicly accessible internet resource.


  1. "Zoological Record: Print Volume Number Information". Clarivate Analytics Support. Clarivate Analytics. Retrieved 21 August 2019. 2016 volume 152. 2016 was the last year that the print version of Zoological Record was made available.
  2. 1 2 3 Bridson, G. D. R. (1968). "The Zoological Record – A Centenary Appraisal". Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History. 5 (1): 23–34. doi:10.3366/jsbnh.1968.5.1.23.
  3. "Zoological Info Now Current". Information Today. 5 (3): 32. March 1988. ISSN   8755-6286.
  4. "News Briefs: BIOSIS and CSA Release Zoological Record Plus". Information Today. 18 (1): 23. 2001. ISSN   8755-6286.
  5. Chillingworth, Mark (February 2004). "Thomson captures Biosis in its life sciences web". Information World Review (199): 3. ISSN   0950-9879.
  6. The Record of Zoological Literature, 1865
  7. The Zoological Record, 1900
  8. "Genomics and taxonomy for all". Nature. 417 (6889): 573. 2002. Bibcode:2002Natur.417Q.573.. doi:10.1038/417573a. ISSN   0028-0836. PMID   12050616.
  9. 1 2 3 Thorne, Joan (March 2003). "Zoological Record and the registration of new names in zoology". Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature. 60 (1): 7–11. ISSN   0007-5167. Archived from the original on 2010-03-12.
  10. Patterson, David J.; Remsen, David; Norton, Cathy (December 2003). "Comment on Zoological Record and registration of new names in zoology". Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature. 60 (4): 297–299. ISSN   0007-5167. Archived from the original on 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2009-12-09.
  11. "Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States.", Cornell University .