The taxonomic information held in the World Register of Deep-Sea Species (WoRDSS) is sourced directly from the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS). WoRMS is managed by an international Steering Committee, a Board of Editors and the Data Management Team at the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) in Belgium. Both the WoRMS and WoRDSS websites are hosted at VLIZ.
The species lists and images that are used to create WoRDSS and the associated iOS app Deep Sea ID (in development) are currently maintained at the Natural History Museum in London, UK by Dr Adrian Glover and at the University of Plymouth, UK by Dr Dr Nicholas Higgs. At the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK, Dr Tammy Horton is contributing to the species lists and coordinating the collation of taxonomic identification resources. The WoRDSS project is partially funded by the International Network for Scientific Investigation of Deep-Sea Ecosystems (INDEEP).
The interactive iOS application (app) Deep Sea ID is currently in development at the Natural History Museum, London with the software development by Heathwest Systems Ltd.
For any support issues with the Deep Sea ID App, please contact the WoRDSS team.
All species on WoRDSS must be first available on WoRMS. For it to appear on WoRDSS, a taxon on WoRMS just needs to be 'tagged' as deep-sea using the Context field, and a Context source field added to provide a link to the supporting source (e.g an online database, publication etc.)
There are two ways you can add deep-sea species. If you are a WoRMS taxonomic editor you can edit the Context and Context source field for your groups and thus add deep-sea species immediately. If you are not a WoRMS editor you can contact the WoRDSS team with your species lists who can arrange for them to be incorporated. Lists must include published sources of evidence.
Once deep-sea species are tagged on WoRMS, they appear on WoRDSS. Species added to WoRDSS will be mirrored on the iOS app Deep Sea ID during quarterly updates.
Species that are not on either WoRMS or WoRDSS should first be added to WoRMS by contacting the relevant taxonomic editor.
All images should be contributed by contacting the WoRDSS team. Contributors must have the appropriate permissions to contribute images, which will be fully credited. Full copyright can be maintained, although we are encouraging the use of Creative Commons Licences. Images that are contributed will appear on both the website and iOS app.
We are currently limiting images for the iOS app to high-quality specimen images ('habitus') that are of sufficient resolution to display full screen on iOS devices. A black background is desirable. Drawings, electron micrographs and images that incorporate too many other species are not currently being considered but we welcome feedback on this. The concept of the iOS app is to enable the improved identification of specimens that are viewed using remote video (e.g ROV), submersible, from the unaided observation of live sampled material (e.g trawls) and under light microscopy. Microscope images are permitted but they must show the entire organism.
If you know of a published or online taxonomic key that is not yet linked on WoRDSS, there are two ways you can add an identification resource to a taxon. If you are a WoRMS taxonomic editor you can edit the ‘source’ field for taxa within your group(s) and either link an existing source as an ‘identification resource’ from the drop-down list, or if the source is not yet in the database it can be added using the ‘add new source’ link. If you are not a WoRMS editor you can contact the WoRDSS team with information about the resource (either the published reference or a link to the location of the online resource) who can arrange for it to be incorporated.
If the error is in the taxonomic information (e.g synonymy, incorrect source etc.) then the error must be corrected by contacting the appropriate WoRMS taxonomic editor for the group.
If the error is that the species is incorrectly included as deep-sea then please contact the WoRDSS team. We appreciate that there are errors of this sort in the database which arise during the uploading of multiple species records. However, many shallow-water species do range into the deep sea and we will not exclude these species unless we can show that the published deep-sea records are inaccurate.
We are not currently incorporating detailed geo-referenced species data into WoRDSS, however we encourage the submission of this data to the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS), from which we source much of the deep-sea species list. We will periodically check OBIS for new records of deep-sea species that are not incorporated into WoRDSS.
For any other queries, please contact the WoRDSS team.