WoRMS celebrates its 10th anniversary!

Added on 2017-11-06 16:33:27 by Vandepitte, Leen
The World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) can blow out 10 candles this year… Since its launch in 2007, WoRMS has evolved tremendously – including the technology behind it -, and we are celebrating this with a complete make-over of the website.
The World Register of Marine Species came online in 2007, and is thus celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Over those 10 years, the number of marine accepted species in WoRMS has more or less doubled: from more or less 122.500 to over 242.500 and this all thanks to contributions from our editorial board and the externally hosted and managed databases we collaborate with!

As 10 years is quite a milestone, it was decided by the Steering Committee that the editing interface could use a serious make-over. And while redoing the taxon pages, it felt natural to revamp the whole website. Although some changes might seem rather small, it is important to realize that the technology behind WoRMS also received a major update, making sure that it is compatible with modern-day technologies.

Not only did the website get a new look-and-feel, there is also a new logo. You probably remember the call to design a new logo for WoRMS earlier this year…? The winning logo was developed by Sarita Camacho da Encarnação, one of our Foraminifera editors. Her design was selected by the Steering Committee for several reasons, including the fact that it did not deviate too far from the style of the previous logo. According to the SC, this guarantees a continuity in the recognition of WoRMS.

All information from the “old” website has been transferred to this new website, and there are even some new features. The biggest changes have happened on the taxon pages, where the information is re-structured, putting the first focus on all taxonomic information and making it more clear to the user who is responsible for the content of each page, and we are now using a tabular system to get access to non-taxonomic information such as distributions and traits.

As an extra, efforts have been made to list all publications that make use of WoRMS or are referring to WoRMS. The majority of these publications is digitally available through the Library at the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ). In addition, the PLoS One Collection dedicated to WoRMS also gets more visibility now. And there is now also a complete section dedicated to LifeWatch, the project that financially supports the work that is being done on WoRMS.

The revamping of the WoRMS portal was made possible by support of LifeWatch Belgium, part of the E-Science European LifeWatch Infrastructure for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research. LifeWatch is a distributed virtual laboratory which is used for different aspects of biodiversity research. WoRMS is part of the LifeWatch Taxonomic Backbone, which aims at bringing together taxonomic and species-related data and at filling the gaps in our knowledge.

Have fun exploring the new website!


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