TaxonPages at the Species File Group
All aspects of this document may evolve until it’s initial “release” at which time we’ll use Semantic Versioning to indicate changes.
Why this document?
This document is here to help to communicate the relationship between Species File Group (SFG) collaborations pertaining to their production-instances of TaxonPages. This document pertains only to the instances of TaxonPages that the SFG maintains. It does not relate to any other collaboration, planned or existing, nor does it relate to other TaxonPage based projects hosted elsewhere. This is not a legal document.
TaxonPage websites in production at Species File Group
The SFG originated as an effort to digitize catalogs of Orthoptera taxonomy. As the software used to do so matured it became of use to others. This ultimately lead to a small proliferation of collaborations resulting in around 20 websites, each treating different taxa. For numerous of these sites the SFG used (and continues to use) significant resources to curate and maintain the underlying data and supporting software. As the SFG evolved a decision was made to split Species Files software into two platforms, data are managed in TaxonWorks, behind private projects, and served to the public via TaxonPages. As of August 2023 this transition was completed, and there are ~15 Species Files now being served via TaxonPages on SFG servers.
Memorandum of understanding
- This is not a legal document but rather a means of communicating aspects of our scientific collaborations.
TaxonPages at the SFG
- The SFG will develop TaxonPages (the tool behind the sites) as completely open-source software.
- The SFG will announce as far in advance as possible as to any:
- Stoppages in development of TaxonPages
- Planned changes to availability (> 8 hours) of TaxonPage sites via an email list (details here).
- Major events that may impact our current development plan and philosophy for TaxonPages and the sites the SFG manages
- Major changes to this document
- If the SFG ceases to support TaxonPages based websites as a collaborative-service, then the SFG will:
- Notify collaborators at least 4 months before the cutoff date, or as soon as possible pending unforeseen events
- Encourage, and support as possible, collaborators move to Github’ Pages or other servers
- Pass along permission to TaxonPages core code repository to a willing and responsible community member
Collaborators with TaxonPages at SFG
- If you have a TaxonPage based site at SFG then you understand:
- Regardless of the perceived permanency of resources, things may change.
- You can help the SFG community in many different ways, and that this growth will in turn help others. A larger community means more resources, which in turn results in greater longevity (in theory).
- SFG services regarding TaxonPages are attempts to help you steward your community, the SFG are not stewards of your community (though we like to join in to help in this regard).
Content on TaxonPages at SFG
- The SFG:
- Encourages you to take ownership and control of your content by learing to edit and contribute directly to your TaxonPages
- Reserves the right to discontinue their serving of sites if we perceive that the site is not a healthy contribution to the biodiversity community.
- Encourages you to prominently include some specific content:
- Acknowledge contributors at all levels, this work does not simply happen by one or two PIs. Widgets will exist to report all curatorial effort at a fine grain level in the future, we recommend you use these.
- Provide means to cite your project at different levels (available via configurations, but also in text)
- Provide a link to a Community Norms or Code of Conduct for how your community is run
- Use, if at all possible, the integrate means of tracking your communities issue via open, publicly accessible issue trackers at the corresponding TaxonPages Github repository
- Do your best to provide solid “Gaps” section, see this as transparency and opportunity rather than as a shortcoming of your work
- Provide a link to a person responsible for DWCA requests (* TODO: provide guidance and expand on this).
- A Create-Commons CC license be displayed that describes the nature of the content, in particular data and images.
- We recommends the use of
CC 0when available. Note that combinations of licences are possible (e.g. Images can be served with an alternate license).
- We recommends the use of
- Plans to require
CC 0in the future for TaxonPage sites it hosts (but again, see Image alternates). We will announce this change at least 6 months before requirement.
Questions and feedback
Questions, concerns, and suggestions for improvement to this document, and any of the work the SFG participates in, can be added to this repository via TaxonPage’s Issue tracker. Private concerns can be addressed to Deborah Paul, Matt Yoder or Ed DeWalt.
The SFG hosts my TaxonWorks project, can they host my TaxonPages as well?
Contact us. Please note that at present we are not looking to host other TaxonPage websites however this may change and would like to hear from you if this would be of use to you and your project.
Does the SFG charge for use TaxonPages?
Will the SFG ever charge for their work managing TaxonPage sites, or offer a service to host those sites.
Of the many things we do without charging this is one category of work that is the most likely to change. We anticipate working towards this concept on our around January 2025.
If the SFG charges for it’s support in hosting and managing TaxonPages will I have an option to migrate elsewhere?
Yes. We built TaxonPages so that you can already do this, for example on Github Pages, see instructions at the TaxonPages home. We built TaxonPages to give agency to those wanting to manage their own worlds.