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Authoritative version of Wikipedia for biology: Encyclopedia of Life Friday, 13 July 2007 4:13 pm

Posted by Dongmei in biology, Internet Resources, open access, wikis.
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If the $50 million biodiversity effort launched May 9 goes as hoped, the Encyclopedia of Life could eventually be an authoritative version of Wikipedia for biology fans.

Potential applications range from planning natural conservation in suburban subdivisions, to mapping coral reefs in the Pacific, to identifying that odd butterfly perched by your window. Led in part by Chicago philanthropists and researchers, the project aims to create a free internet resource to catalog and describe every one of the planet’s 1.8 million species.

After a few years, as a head of a reference works publisher pointed out: “when the site gains enough content mass, there won’t be much need for libraries to purchase traditional animal life encyclopedias.” He also pointed out that “the trend toward free, scholarly Internt reference sources–the kind not as easily dismissed from a validity standpoint as Wikipedia–will continue”.

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