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European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT)
EDIT is a Network of Excellence supported by the European Commission and set up to integrate effort in taxonomy in Europe. One of the 'workpackages' (WP6,, coordinated by NHM London, is entitled 'Unifying revisionary taxonomy' and aims to integrate effort in revisionary systematics (professional and amateur). For practical purposes we have targeted initially four exemplar taxa with the intention of attempting to encourage a more organised approach to planning revisionary taxonomy and transfering it to the internet.

Within the insect exemplar group ( there are currently two Diptera networks: Milichiidae ( and Sciaroidea (

We would like to encourage the setting up of further networks and to facilitate this process the EDIT project has developed a new communication tool for expert networks, the so-called ?scratchpads?.

Scratchpads provide you and your community of researchers a space to work on the web. They are easy to use, adaptable to reflect your needs, and provide you with powerful tools for managing your data. AND they are free for everybody.

Major features include:
* Unlimited content (pages, images, maps, bibliographies, phylogenies, DNA sequences, specimen lists, classifications, forums) or define your own content type
* Workflows for data import (includes MS Excel support) and editing
* User controlled hierarchies to classify content
* Unlimited and controllable sites membership
* Public, private and user defined access groups
* Context sensitive user profiles
* Rich text (WYSIWYG) editing & intuitive administration
* User defined web addresses

Scratchpads are independent and unconnected, allowing communities to create distinct customized sites tailored to their needs. They are built on the content management system Drupal (, and managed on servers at the Natural History Museum, London. Content is archived such that it can be cited like a traditional publication.

For more information please visit You can also try out the demo version at to see how easy it is to do a simple page, for example.

If you would like to set up an expert network for your taxon and/or use a scratchpad please visit our website or email me (link below).

Dr. Irina Brake

European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT)
Department of Entomology
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 5BD
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7942 5244 voice
+44 (0)20 8871 4941 fax
#1 | crex on 26 September 2007 18:09:44
Looks interesting. A pity I probably will not have a reason to use it ... or!? I assume it's primarily for taxonomy geeks Grin
#2 | Kahis on 27 September 2007 00:12:47
Aye, looks like a tool for taxonomy geeks - like me. Hooray! Pfft I already have an idea or two, now I just have to pitch them to the correct people Smile
#3 | crex on 27 September 2007 06:30:09
I looked at some of the Scratchpad videos yesterday and this customized Drupal CMS has some nice functions, but I also saw that they have work left to do (handling images etc).
#4 | Paul Beuk on 27 September 2007 07:43:03
I was not very impressed with the layout of the sites, not intuitive enough. But there are certainly many interesting functions, but remember that several of these were specifically designed for EDIT. Still, the same thing could be done for PHP-Fusion (for example the Glossary and I have, time permitting, some other up my sleeve).
#5 | crex on 27 September 2007 08:50:47
Yes, all this could be made in PHP-Fusion also if someone has the time to spend, but not all biologists can code. I like the taxonomy hierarchic tree structure in the Scaratchpads. That is one thing I also like about that you can navigate via this tree structure.

Here is a task for you Paul. Make a wiki in PHP-Fusion where you can search or navigate through a hierarchic taxonomy tree, and where you can add info and images on all levels. If possible also add templates (as the Scratchpads) for different kinds of information (typeinfo, literature, images, description, biology, distribution) to make the interface homogeneous.

... but the again we might as well use a Scxratchpad to save some time and effort Grin
#6 | crex on 27 September 2007 08:59:56
The Scratchpads are made for a different purpose than, but I think the results of this ID forum queries could be made more accessible. Maybe tagging* posts or parts of messages or images (stored on this site) could be accessed via a hierarchic taxonomy tree!?

* by predefined tags
#7 | Paul Beuk on 27 September 2007 09:14:08
The layout of the sites is not determined by the Scratchpads as such, but I think is an underlying thing of Drupal.
#8 | jorgemotalmeida on 04 October 2007 13:48:40
i cannot access to many sections of the site Sad
it warns: You are not authorized to access this page. Sad
#9 | oasisnainital on 18 April 2008 09:32:08
i want to browse the information regarding Culicidae latest literature
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Date and time
06 December 2023 21:47


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Last updated: 25.08.2011
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06.09.23 01:11
How to move a thread from "diptera" to "asilidae" ? i.e. (Tolmerus cf cingulatus)

17.08.23 15:23

17.08.23 13:54
Tony, I HAD a blank in the file name. Sorry!

17.08.23 13:44
Tony, thanks! I tried it (see "Cylindromyia" Wink but don't see the image in the post.

17.08.23 11:37
pjt - just send the post and attached image. Do not preview thread, as this will lose the link to the image,

16.08.23 08:37
Tried to attach an image to a forum post. jpg, 32kB, 72dpi, no blanks, ... File name is correctly displayed, but when I click "Preview Thread" it just vanishes. Help!

23.02.23 21:29
Has anyone used the Leica DM500, any comments.

27.12.22 21:10
Thanks, Jan Willem! Much appreciated. Grin

19.12.22 11:33
Thanks Paul for your work on keeping this forum available! Just made a donation via PayPal.

09.10.22 17:07
Yes, dipterologists from far abroad, please buy your copy at veldshop. Stamps will be expensive, but he, the book is unreasonably cheap Smile

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