Wikispecies:PR

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Wikispecies: Let the free species directory evolve![edit]

In August 2004, the Wikimedia Foundation released the new project, Wikispecies. This website was created to provide an open source forum for taxonomic and biological information.

Wikispecies' content[edit]

Wikispecies will serve a seriously interested community such as scientists, students, or teachers. It aims to link other Wikimedia Foundation projects, and should not become a bio-Wikipedia. There are people in the wiki-community who fear a fork within Wikipedia, a development we all want to avoid. Therefore, a template for content has been developed, which should be taken as a guideline. Eventually, it is up to the users of Wikispecies to decide what it will become.

The template provides a recommended basic structure for the pages:

TAXONAVIGATION: Give the most commonly used clades of the taxonomic tree and allows a convenient navigation through all groups of life. To find templates for taxonavigation, just click "edit" at the top of any taxon page. To use a template, type {{nameofclade}}, like this: {{aves}}.

NAME: Give the binominal name according to the original author of that name, for example: Meles meles Linnaeus, 1758.

REFERENCES: Give the publication in which the original description of the species was presented. To find this, try these sites:

VERNACULAR NAMES: Give names of the species in other languages (see Help for instructions) as well as links to articles on this species in the particular Wikipedia, for example: [[en:Badger]] (links to the English Wikipedia on badgers), [[de:Dachs]] (links to the German Wikipedia article on badgers).

OTHER: Try to avoid other information. If you must, add it to the discussion page of the taxon. To preserve understandability for all languages, further information for a particular taxon should be put on the respective Wikipedia.

Wikispecies' milestones[edit]

On May 20th, 2007 Wikispecies surpassed 100,000 articles. This milestone was recorded at Wikimedia News and submitted to the Wikipedia Signpost's Tip Line. A post was also made on Wikizine's wiki.

Wikispecies' future[edit]

What will Wikispecies become eventually? As said before, this will widely depend on the users of this resource and on the will to share knowledge. Right now, there is an enormous pool of information online, which can be found on a variety of websites. One of these is www.itis.gov, which is something like an official resource. Another very good source is www.biolib.cz/en/main. Most other sources are protected by copyrights, often not very user-friendly, or limited to a select group of species.

This is very similar to the situation on general encyclopedias before 2001. Then, Wikipedia was released and became an instant success. Wikipedia has proved that the concept of self-administered information can work excellently. There is no reason to believe that Wikispecies should not become a valuable source of information.

Depending on the user's interests, the contributed content could make Wikispecies the largest archive of open-access pictures on British wildlife; a determination key for all European marine organisms; a teaching tool for middle school teachers; an archive of local vernacular names of herbs; a collection of weblinks to resources on corals; a reference for passionate herpetologists who want to learn about their pets; or simply an unlimited and expandable forum for all those who share a passionate interest in the life forms of this planet.

What Wikispecies becomes is up to you. We provide you with the technology; you add the content you want to see.

Let Wikispecies evolve!