EOL Content Partners: Getting Started

If you are interested in sharing data with EOL, please take a moment to learn about our content needs, licensing requirements and data harvesting protocols.  If you need additional information, please contact us.

What content is suitable for EOL?

EOL is interested in information (ecology, morphology, behavior, conservation biology, molecular data, etc.) about species, subspecies, genera, families, etc. Information about strains, varieties, or provisional taxa may also be suitable. Information can be descriptive text, or structured data describing organism traits; data can be either quantitative (eg: body mass) or categorical (eg: preferred habitat). In addition to taxon descriptions and trait data, we collect photos, illustrations, videos, sounds, maps, bibliographic references, classification hierarchies, and lists of scientific as well as vernacular names.

Most of our content partners provide materials vetted by professional scientists, but we are also interested in contributions from the public. In general, these materials will be marked as unreviewed until they have been vetted by an EOL curator.

EOL does not generally deal directly with specimen information; such data are handled by GBIF. However, we are very interested in specimen images and any information about type specimens. Also, if you can derive descriptive information from specimen records (e.g., cumulative occurrence or host records, information about phenology, morphometric data [ranges, averages], genetic or genomic information, etc.) that would be suitable for sharing with EOL.

It's ok to share data with EOL that are aggregated from other sources. However, please make sure that you are not violating copyright by using and sharing these materials. Also, we are not interested in importing aggregated data if we already have a content partnership with a particular source project. Check our list of EOL Content Partners to see if the collections you are harvesting are already covered. If in doubt, check with us.

EOL licensing requirements

You should share materials with EOL only if ONE of the following applies:

  • You are the copyright owner of the materials to be shared
  • The copyright owners have consented to a license compatible with the EOL licensing policy
  • The materials are in the public domain

EOL is building an open access collection of biodiversity information. All content shared with EOL must therefore be available under a license that permits reuse and redistribution at least for non-commercial purposes. Please see the EOL licensing policy for more information.

If the required creative commons licenses are not acceptable to all your contributors, you may consider sharing only part of your collection with EOL, just as long as you have a way of separating content by license. If you need help discussing EOL licensing requirements with your contributors, we will be happy to assist by explaining our policies and licenses and suggesting options such as sharing only abstracts of articles or low resolution versions of images. If most or all of your materials are off limits due to licensing restrictions, we can still make them available to EOL visitors through simple links in the Resources tab of each relevant EOL taxon page.

EOL Content Partner Registration

When you add a content partner to your EOL member account, you let us know that you are interested in sharing data with EOL. Once you are logged in to your account, look for the Content partners tab.  In this tab, you will find an add new content partner button.  You will then be asked to enter some information about your project and the kind of data/resources you would like to share with EOL. In the Project description, provide a synopsis of the activities and goals of your project. This information and the logo you may upload will be accessible to EOL visitors in the EOL Content Partners list once your data go live on EOL.

In the Description of data field give an overview of the type of information you would like to share and how many items are available. Here are some of the things we would like to know about your data:

  • What is the taxonomic range of your collection?
  • Do you have taxon descriptions? For how many taxa?
  • How is your data structured and what subjects are covered in your descriptions, e.g., morphology, ecology, distribution, molecular biology, genetics?
  • Do you have images, videos, sounds? How many media files? Covering how many taxa?
  • Have these materials been assembled or checked by qualified experts or by a knowledgeable community? What is your vetting process?
  • Is your information in a database? If so, what database management system are you using, e.g., FileMaker, Microsoft Access, MySQL, Oracle?
  • Do you want to share taxon descriptions from a collection of files? If so, what is the format of your files, e.g., html, pdf, doc, txt?
  • Are all your text and media files available on the internet?
  • Would you like to be an EOL classification/names provider?

Once you have reviewed the content partner terms of use agreement, you will be directed to a form where you can either upload a data file or provide a link to a file that can be harvested by EOL. Please see Planning Your Data Export for information about suitable formats for EOL data sharing.  For instructions on how to register your data file with EOL, see Publishing Your Data on EOL

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