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Short Description

Nameforlife home page (View Page)

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NamesforLife was founded to solve a long-standing problem in biology: resolution of the ambiguity between nomenclature and biological objects and concepts. NamesforLife technology, N4L, makes names actionable. In a N4L-enabled document or database, when encountering a name, the user clicks or mouses over it and a menu of authoritative information is displayed: an up-to-date historical record of both the name and taxon in its current and prior states and its synonyms; technical and non-technical papers in which the organism is a key subject; information about its availability from biological resource centers, databases holding molecular sequence data; and reliable information regarding its pathogenicity, utility, and safety requirements are made available.

N4L Architecture provides the necessary infrastructure to link end-users to the information they need, when they need it, even when the name or taxonomic concepts may have changed over time. Links from the point of need (e.g., the occurrence of a name in an electronic document) to related data are dynamically maintained in the background. The user has no need to formulate a search query at some external portal. The technology is designed to provide a knowledge-to-knowledge system for the research community and for others seeking to have an organized, reliable and accurate nomenclature and ontology tracking tools.

Through the development of N4L Architecture, NamesforLife provides a completely new approach to bibliographic retrieval, based upon the use of nomenclature as a means of linking to content.


Namesforlife can be found at:


  • Firefox web browser

The N4LGuide is a Firefox browser add-on that highlights bacterial names in a web page (a journal article, for instance) and links them to a N4L Digital Object Identifier. When you click one of these links, a menu will be displayed, containing relevant information about the nomenclature, taxonomy, and strain information, including genome data.

Snapshot of the N4L Firefox addon (View Page)
Close-up of the N4L Firefox addon (View Page)

Contact Information

  • Email -
  • Address - 325 East Grand River Ave, Suite 300 East Lansing MI 48823
  • Phone - 517.708.3802

User notes

See Also


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