EOL aggregates information from diverse content contributors. Most of the materials we collect are vetted by scientists, but we also accept contributions from the public. Curators may find errors in both trusted and unreviewed EOL content. Although they cannot edit the content contributed by others, there are a number of different ways in which curators can manipulate data objects in order to correct errors on EOL.
If you find an image, video, or sound in which an organism is misidentified, you can fix the identification as follows:
- Use the add new association link to associate the media object with the correct taxon. This will place the image, video, or sound in the media collection of this taxon.
- Leave a comment on the media object page to explain why you disagree with the previous identification. Hopefully, this will prompt the media contributor to fix the problem at the source. The erroneous taxon association will then disappear once the media file has been reharvested.
- Full and master curators can immediately remove the image, video, or sound from pubic view in the media collection of the incorrect taxon. To do this change the review status of the erroneous taxon association to Untrusted and check the misidentified box.
EOL text articles cannot be edited by curators. However, you can inform the supplier of the information about errors by leaving a comment on the data object info page of the article. You can access this page through the learn more about this article link in the Detail or Overview tab. Your comments will be forwarded to the content provider who can then make the necessary corrections.
Since all EOL content is released under Creative Commons licenses that allow the creation of derivative works, curators can also correct errors by creating a new, corrected version of a problematic articles. To do this follow these steps:
- Use the add an article to this page button in the Detail tab to create a new text article.
- Enter the revised text in the Text box. If the original text contained links or other HTML markup, you may want to copy and paste from the HTML source. Look for a View Source link in the View menu of your internet browser.
- Enter the references in the References box.
- Select the Language and License. If the original article was released under a Share-Alike license, you need to use the same license.
- If you make substantial changes to the article, leave the Rights holder field blank. You will own the copyright for the revised version. If you made only minor changes, e.g., fixing spellings, adding references, add the original copyright owner in the Rights holder field.
- In the Rights statement field you can add a note like "This text is modified from [author name]'s original article."
- In the URL to original data object field put a link to the data object info page of the original article. This is the page with all the data about the article. You can get to it by clicking on the learn more about this article link in the Detail or Overview tab.
- Once the new article has been created, full and master curators can hide the original article by changing the review status of its taxon association to Untrusted and checking the incorrect/misleading box. Please also leave a comment to explain the problems you found in the original article and add a link to your revised version. Assistant curators do not have the power to hide content, but they can request help from other curators. The best way to do this is to post a request to hide an erroneous article in the newsfeed of a full curator who has demonstrated an interest in a given group by curating the page for this taxon or a related group. Look for curator listings in the right sidebar of the Overview tab of relevant taxon pages.
We are aware that there are currently a lot of name and classification errors on EOL. Tools to facilitate fixing these errors are under development. We'll add more information about this soon.