Instructions

Dear colleagues,

We expect that the African Amphibian Lifedesk will be a key resource for both the public and experts in the field, including those who may not have access to original descriptions, taxonomic changes, and updates of species distributions from scientific journals. Of the utmost importance is assembling high-quality taxonomic information that is reviewed by experts in the field. Therefore, in order to reach these goals, we ask you to participate in editing and assembling this data. There are many ways in which you can contribute to this project. These include, but are not limited to:

1) Writing species pages or mentoring students who can assemble the data. It is understood that species accounts vary drastically depending on the information available.

2) Sending us translations of original species descriptions.

3) Uploading photographs of live animals or specimens.

4) Uploading recordings of call data.

5) Agreeing to be an expert and review species pages for larger taxonomic groups. All contributors can comment on what is written on particular species pages, but only editors can actually make changes.

6) Adding recent research or newsworthy items to a soon-to-be added “News” section.

7) Participating in a forum that links researchers, individuals in the field, and amateur herpetologists.

8) Making us aware of other databases, online resources, or researchers that could be included in this project.

9) Connecting us with publishers that might be willing to allow the Biodiversity Heritage Library to scan copyrighted material and include their publications on the BHL website. Scanning is done at no cost to the publisher and makes the work available for use by researchers and scientists around the world.

To become a contributor, please select the “Create New Account” on the bottom of the menu on the left. If you would like to take on a role as “Editor” of a specific taxonomic group, please email Breda (bzimkus@oeb.harvard.edu).

CREATING CONTENT

Once you have logged in, click on "Create Content" to see how you can add data, which includes creating a taxon page, an image, or bibliographic information. Please visit Phrynobatrachus krefftii to get a good idea of what types of information are typically included in a species account. More details regarding the contents of each specific category are available when you create a new taxon page. When writing accounts, please write in full sentences.

To add additional common names or synonyms, click "Edit Name" next to the species name on the taxon page and create a "New Child" of that species by clickling on the button with the plus sign on the left side of the green tool bar. Press "Show Data Name Panel" and choose the appropriate relationship (synonym, vernacular name, etc.) to the species from the drop down menu.

To add a bibliographic reference, click on "Create Content" and "Create Biblio." To manually input bibliographic information, use the scroll down menu beneath Publication Type to choose the type of reference (book, journal, etc.). To link bibliographic information to specific taxon pages, use the window on the right to find the species name and check the box (or start typing and the name should auto-fill). This will automatically add the reference to the appropriate taxon page. If you do not check the taxon name, the bibliography information will not appear on the species page.

Unfortunately, if another person has already added a specific bibliographic reference, you can not edit it unless you have editor status (even if it means that you are linking the species page that you have written). In this case, please email Breda (bzimkus@oeb.harvard.edu) to add a taxon to a specific reference that is already in the bibliography list.

We would like people to attempt to write complete taxon pages for a specific species, but you can add select data and leave the page in "draft" form for another contributor to finish. Once an editor (either myself or someone who has agreed to be an editor for a specific taxonomic group) has looked over the page and deemed it complete, they will "publish" the page. All data from the African amphibian Lifedesk will be directly uploaded into the Encyclopedia of Life, and from there the data will be shared with AmphibiaWeb, a content partner of EOL.

We look forward to working with you all on this project.

With kind regards,

Breda Zimkus and Simon Loader