Scratchpads are an easy to use, social networking application that enable communities of researchers to manage, share and publish taxonomic data online. Sites are hosted at the Natural History Museum London, and offered free to any scientist that completes an online registration form. The weevil scratchpad is dedicated in the first place to weevil systematics and taxonomy, but is by its nature responsive to the way in which we, the users, chose to develop it.
How to use the weevil site
Instructions on how to use scratchpads can be found at http://scratchpads.eu/help These are currently being updated and may be incomplete, so any questions you have which are not answered there please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. While anyone can look at the content and use the links, to add to the content and make use of the blogs, fora etc you have to be registered as a contributor.
The Search Box is on the left hand side of the screen under the two classifications. If you wish to search all of the site just type in the term being searched for and press 'Go!' This might be an author's name to search the Bibliography, or a taxon name you wish to find in the title of a paper. If you wish to find the taxon page you need to do a 'Taxonomy' search. First click on 'Taxonomy' above the search box, and then wait until a small citcle has appeared at the right of the box. When it appears type in the taxon name. If it is in the Alonso-Zarzaga & Lyal tree (which only goe]s down to genus in most cases, and does not include synonyms) the name will appear below the search box (or a selection of names with the same start if you have only typed part of the name). Select the name you want (even if there is only one) and then click on the 'Go!' button. A taxon page will then open.
To find a taxon page either search on the name as described above, or navigate down the classification tree uon the left of the screen. Click on the cross to the left of the names on the tree to navigate down and then click on the name to open the page. The site currently holds two classifications: one emended from Alonso-Zarazaga & Lyal (1999) which extends to genus level, and one from Oberprieler et al (2007) which goes only as far as subfamily. There is further discussion of why these two classifications have been chosen following the ‘Notes on Classifications' link at the top left of the screen.
Although there are only a very few species currently included, more can be added as we require them. Only users with appropriate permission will be able to add species or change the tree (for example by moving genera between supra-generic groups); currently only the Administrator had access to that functionality.
By clicking on a taxon name you can open the tree 'beneath' that name, and by clicking on the cross (+) next to the name you can open a page where information, images etc can be added. Each page contains a set of ‘panels', as follows:
Taxon Information. Includes added text on Descriptions, Ecology/biology and Economic notes. Any registered contributor can add to these, and if we find we want additional content types to this panel I can add them.
Web Images. These are images resulting from a simple web search, and can be opened to a full view and their source found through a right-click of the mouse. Like most web searches, this will return any image with the same name, so as usual it does show misidentifications, pictures of miscellaneoius classical gods, boats etc.
GBIF Map. This is generated on the fly from data moderated through GBIF, and reflects only what GBIF can access under the name. As we include species on the site the information may become more complete.
Bibliography. Currently with little content, but this can be added to by registered contributors. This extracts publications relevant to the taxon from the full bibliography being created for the site.
Google Scholar. References generated on the fly from a search of Google Scholar for the taxon. As with the images, it will return any use of the name, or where the name forms part of another term.
Images. Images uploaded to the site by registered contributors. Currently with no content.
Biodiversity Heritage Library. References generated on the fly from a search of the BHL for the taxon name.
Files. Uploaded files containing relevant material. Currently little content.
NCBI. Links to Genbank for sequence data for the taxon. The panel also includes some external links to name servers.
On the left-hand column. This provides links to three areas: (1) key web sites of interest to weevil taxonomists. Registered contributors are invited to add to these. (2) the bibliography; (3) the forum discussions. W
We have created a number of potential subjects, but more can be added. To add a new topic select a forum by clicking on the heading, and then use the 'post a new forum topic' command at the top of the forum pages.