The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is a free online wiki of all living organisms present on the planet. Information is aggregated from all available resources including - books, journals, databases, websites, specimens, collections and is made possible by contributions from partner organizations (EOL content partners") and nature enthusiasts from around the world. The objective of our project is to analyze the existing content partner ecosystems and make recommendations regarding policy, technology and management changes aimed at strengthening the collaboration between the content on the EOL’s website and make the information available to a larger audience. To meet our objective, the team developed a taxonomy structure to describe existing EOL content partners. After conducting an initial summary review of exiting Content Partners (CP) per publically available data published on EOL.org and available CP websites, categories were identified and parameters defined. Interviews were conducted with the EOL to better understand the dynamic between EOL content curators and existing CP, revealing possible challenges faced managing the relationship and interaction between EOL and CP. After the initial EOL staff interviews data was collected to test out the taxonomy and an online survey was distributed to 230 members through the existing EOL CP listserv to gather responses on topics including perception of content curation management, data transfer process and interaction with EOL staff and the ease of use of data transfer and communication technologies.
After receiving the responses from the content partners on the survey, the data was analyzed using an online survey software tool called “Qualtrics”. This helped shortlist the parameters that were important to EOL. The survey result reveals some important insights including:
a. The in-staff support of the EOL for the content partners has been a major boost for the partners.
b. The record traffic on content partner’s content has been helpful in understanding the importance of content partners to the EOL.
Incorporating the following recommendations will help EOL gain more data from its content partners and thereby gain more visibility:
a. Add simpler directions on the EOL site to become a content partner, by adding relevant help sections in obvious places.
b. Promote the publicity of EOL using social media and enlist the benefits of being an EOL content partner.
c. Simplify the use of technology to upload data from the content partners’ site/databases.
d. Promote collaboration with each partner individually to address their individual organizational needs and concerns.
Introduction The Encyclopedia of life (EOL) is a free, online collaborative encyclopedia aimed to be the comprehensive resource hub of existing information documented on the estimated 1.9 million known life-forms on Earth. By gathering information from books, journals, databases, websites, specimen collections, as well as further contributions from a growing number of content partners and people around the world, EOL hopes to expand access and make the information easily available to all. In order to reach this aim effectively, EOL must first build a greater understanding of its current content partner ecosystem to make strategic policy, technology, and management decisions that will enable EOL to effectively promote an increase in contribution from existing content partners and further advance the goal of building a comprehensive information collection.
Objectives The goal of this project is to create a taxonomy with description of dimensions and appropriate parameters that can describe the EOL content partners and make recommendations about policy, technology, and management changes that would increase the contribution of this aspect of EOL to the overall