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MBL develops infrastructure and portal for Encyclopedia of Life
Date:2/26/2008

tium, which operates the EOL scanning group. Ninety-five percent of the worlds species are in developing countries in South America and Africa that have not had access to this literature. This will bring information about species to the very people who live where the species do!

As of today, EOLs infrastructure includes placeholder pages for 1 million species, of which 30,000 have been populated with detailed information derived from comprehensive, authoritative compilations available for some taxonomic groups (e.g., FishBase, AmphibiaWeb). In addition, about two dozen highly developed multimedia pages are presented as examples of what to expect in time throughout the EOL. Three of these multimedia pages were developed by scientists at the MBL, who are experts on the species described by the page: the microbe Cafeteria roenbergensis (page developed by Dr. Patterson); the bacteria Wolbachia pipientis (by Seth Bordenstein); and the Australian Giant Cuttlefish (by Roger Hanlon and Kendra Buresch).

Feedback on the first 30,000 pages will shape the ultimate design and functionality of all 1.8 million pages, scheduled for completion by 2017. It will also help inform priorities for content development.

"It is exciting to anticipate the scientific chords we might hear once 1.8 million notes are brought together through this instrument," says Jim Edwards, Executive Director of the EOL.

Potential EOL users are professional and citizen scientists, teachers, students, media, environmental managers, families and artists. The site will link the public and scientific community in a collaborative way thats without precedent in scale.

Starting later this year, the public will be able to contribute text, videos, images, and other information about a species. The best of this information will be incorporated into the authenticated pages.

There are very many species for which we do not have high quality images or text. Think of
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Contact: Diana Kenney
dkenney@mbl.edu
508-289-7139
Marine Biological Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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