The EDIT Data Portal publishes taxonomic data data hosted in a CommunityStore either to a closed community or to the public at large. It has been implemented as a module for the content management system Drupal. The term content managent system is somewhat misleading here: since the actual content is stored and managed by the CDM, ensuring scientific accuracy and reusability of data. Drupal offers a great deal of flexibility and can be extended almost indefinitely, making it possible to adapt the EDIT Data Portal to the individual needs of a community. Custom web pages, forums, and blogs are only a few of Drupal's capabilities available out of the box, and there is practically no limit to the number of modules that can be added to enhance a site with for example image galleries. The layout and look and feel of the application can be easily adapted to fit any taste.
The EDIT Data Portal supports zoological and botanical names (support for viral and bacterial names should be available soon), as well as multiple concurrent taxonomies. Rules as specified by the nomenclatural codes ICBN and ICZN are built into the CDM, ensuring that taxon names conform to these standards.
User interface design was guided by the following design principles: provide easy access to all taxa and names; display all relevant information in one place where possible; and reduce complexity without compromising scientific accuracy. A challenge particular to taxonomy is keeping the user from losing his or her bearings while navigating through vast taxonomic trees; to this end, a sophisticated taxonomic tree browser has been developed to reduce confusion and make daily work with such trees more productive. A search function provides an additional way to access taxa.
Each taxon is represented by an individual page, which displays the list of synonyms, related taxa, occurrences, descriptions, media, and more. The list of homotypic and heterotypic synonyms is ordered historically and grouped by types; its layout resembles that found in printed publications. Images of protologues and of type specimens are linked directly from taxon names and synonym lists. In addition, taxon pages will allow users to contribute annotations as text or images.
Currently, EDIT Data Portals and CDM Community Stores are used to store and publish the work of the EDIT exemplar groups focusing on the taxonomic groups Cichorieae, Diptera and Palmae. Links to the demosites are found below.
The open source content management system Drupal becomes more and more widely used in the area of biodiversity informatics. This popularity is not only due to its capabilities to just manage content for websites. The genius of what the Drupal community has done, is to reduce all of the aspects of social software to the core and then build a platform that could be infinitely extended to allow the assembly of almost any styles of online social interaction. During the past years the community contributed over 3000 different modules extending the Drupal core and thus on one hand providing a highly flexible construction kit and on the other hand showing by many examples that nearly everything is possible, perhaps only limited by the human imagination.
The EDIT Data Portal has been developed as a drupal module to take the advantage of the community support and already available resources. Since we offer CDM Data Portal as a package with drupal together it is not necessary to spend extra time learning about drupal.