Comprehensive, collaborative, ever-growing, and personalized, the Encyclopedia of Life is an ecosystem of websites that makes all key information about life on Earth accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world. Our goal is to create a constantly evolving encyclopedia that lives on the Internet, with contributions from scientists and amateurs alike. To transform the science of biology, and inspire a new generation of scientists, by aggregating all known data about every living species. And ultimately, to increase our collective understanding of life on Earth, and safeguard the richest possible spectrum of biodiversity.
Species pages in EOL will call upon information that has been created by partners. The information will be dynamically recombined on the web in a form that offers great flexibility, diversity and welcomes input. Novel tools will be added to this ever-evolving content to visualize the immense scope and richness of biodiversity and to aid exploration of the Encyclopedia. These demonstration pages offer a vision of how the species pages will appear.
What about Wikipedia?
Wikipedia inspired us. Wikipedia accumulated about 1.5 million entries in English in its first four years. That gave us confidence that our tasks are manageable with current technology and social behaviour, although the expert community in a lot of the subjects for pages in Encyclopedia of Life may be only a handful of people. Wikipedia has also created some species pages, as have other groups. Encyclopedia of Life will, we hope, unite all such efforts and increase their value. The Wikimedia Foundation is a member of the Encyclopedia’s Institutional Council.