European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT)
Posted by Paul Beuk on 26 September 2007 18:07:10
Call for cooperation between dipterists! A new communication tool for expert networks developed by the European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT), WP6.

Irina Brake, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD.
Extended News
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