Scientific names are used in biology for each recognized biological unit such as species, genera, families, orders, phyla, kingdoms and domains, and each of the subdivisions in between these basic taxonomic units. Scientific names have the advantage that they are unique for the species within their specific kingdom, contrary to common names that differ between languages, and within languages.
The naming of taxonomic units is organized by several organisations:
- Animals: International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature who publishes the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.
- Plants, fungi, cyanobacteria: International Association for Plant Taxonomy who publishes the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
- Bacteria: International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes who publishes the International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria.