What is the WoRMS?
The World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) is an online database of all known marine species, maintained and hosted by the Flanders Marine Institute in Belgium. WoRMS provides taxonomic information, scientific names, synonyms, and common names for marine organisms such as animals, plants, and microbes. It is one of the most comprehensive and authoritative sources of information on marine biodiversity, and it is used by researchers, students, conservationists, and the general public worldwide.
WoRMS is also known as “WoRMS at MarineSpecies.org” because the initial focus of the database was on marine worms, but it has since expanded to cover all marine organisms. The database is constantly updated by a global network of taxonomic experts, ensuring that the information is accurate and up-to-date. WoRMS is a valuable resource for researchers studying marine biodiversity and for anyone interested in learning more about the amazing diversity of life in the world’s oceans.
How to cite the WoRMS
If you are citing the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) in a research paper or other publication, the following format is commonly used:
Author(s) (Year). Title. World Register of Marine Species. Available at http://www.marinespecies.org. Accessed on [date of access].
Jones, A. and Smith, B. (2022). Canis lupus. World Register of Marine Species. Available at http://www.marinespecies.org. Accessed on March 17, 2023.
In the example above, “Canis lupus” is a hypothetical species being cited, and “Jones, A. and Smith, B.” are the authors of the WoRMS database entry. The date of access should be the date that you accessed the database to retrieve the information.
8 Things you didn’t know about the WoRMS
- WoRMS is one of the most comprehensive and authoritative sources of information on marine biodiversity, providing taxonomic and nomenclatural information on all marine species.
- WoRMS is maintained by the Flanders Marine Institute in Belgium and is supported by a network of taxonomic experts from around the world.
- The database contains information on over 240,000 valid marine species, with thousands of new species being added every year.
- WoRMS provides not only the scientific names, but also synonyms, common names, and vernacular names for each species, as well as information on their distribution, habitat, and ecology.
- WoRMS is freely available online and is used by researchers, policymakers, educators, and the general public to study and understand the diversity of life in the world’s oceans.
- WoRMS is not only a valuable tool for marine biologists, but also for conservationists, as it provides critical information for monitoring and managing marine ecosystems.
- WoRMS has partnerships with other major biodiversity databases, such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), to promote the sharing and integration of biodiversity data.
- WoRMS also includes information on the fossil record of marine species, providing a window into the evolutionary history of life in the oceans.