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Abstract

The problems of synonymy, incorrect species author citation/abbreviation and spelling errors are hampering botanical research around the globe. This article was aimed to quantify the intensity and errors encountered in this regard in published botanical articles pertaining to the Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan. To address this issue, 100 articles published in 1999-2015 were reviewed. A total of 5460 entries were processed carefully and 1350 species binomials (excluding repititions) were extracted that were linked with 1333 accepted binomials according to theplantlist.org. Out of these accepted species binomials, 1109 were communicated correctly, whereas the remaining 224 binomials were conveyed in the form of 241 synonyms. Average synonyms to accepted binomials ratio for the said timespan was calculated quite high as 13.99%. By taking these conveyed synonyms as our sub sample, we further detected 712 errors related to orthography, author citations and abbreviations. A strong positive and significant Pearson correlation was observed amongst the number of articles published, total numbers of species binomials communicated and the number of synonyms conveyed. These taxonomic errors and nomenclatural issues in botanical articles are causing ambiguity and confusions, thus reducing the reliability and reproducibility of botanical researches. Our results prove modest basic taxonomic skills of authors, dwindling taxonomic understanding and non-updating of regional floras on a periodic basis as primary reasons. We briefly discuss this global issue and its consequences and also document numerous suggestions to mitigate the impacts.


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