Biodiv Sci ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (3): 264-276.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14012

Special Issue: 生物多样性信息学专题(II)

• Biodiversity Informatics • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Scratchpads 2.0: a virtual research environment for biodiversity sciences in the Internet era

Lisong Wang1,*(), Vincent S Smith2, Hongrui Zhang1, Xianchun Zhang1   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolution Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    2. Biodiversity Informatics Group, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, UK
  • Received:2014-01-13 Accepted:2014-04-30 Online:2014-05-20 Published:2014-06-04
  • Contact: Wang Lisong


We describe key features of the Scratchpads 2.0 Virtual Research Environment (VRE), which supports the creation, management and reuse of biodiversity data. This paper provides an introduction to recent developments and status of the Scratchpads 2.0 system, including its technical architecture. Key features include mechanisms to integrate individual research data and online resources, creation and management of multilingual content, license and authorization of system and data content, dynamic tracing of data editing history, research team cooperation, and methods of data paper publication. Important technical features include effective maintenance and installation of the system, ability to build distributed architecture, modularized function and development, and implementation of related information standards. These are put into a context with related biodiversity informatics tools. Scratchpads was designed with accurate role orientation, a deep understanding of taxonomic research requirements, and excellent technical solutions. All of these attributes contribute to Scratchpads’ importance to e-infrastrature in the Internet era for taxonomy, thereby providing us with a promising tool to complete ambitious projects like World Online Flora.

Key words: biodiversity informatics, data-publishing, online flora, virtual research environment