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Library Publish Guidelines

Publishing to the Bird Journal library is a great way to share your efforts with other Bird Journal users. Everything in the library is available to all users, including those with free accounts.

Once an item is published, it comes to us for a brief review process. We only check a few things that help users find and use the item.

Once your item is present in the library and in use by other Bird Journal users, it is easy to make any updates to the item and make those available to everyone. Simply make your changes like normal, then publish again.

Note: Please make sure you've got permission from any original authors before publishing to the Bird Journal library.

General considerations:

  • We prefer library items to be complete. Users can often expect them to be complete, so it can be confusing for other users if some items are missing. Consider reducing the scope of your taxonomy (eg. from True Bugs to just Shield Bugs & Allies) to allow it to be more complete. If a library item is incomplete, it should have (Partial) at the end of it's name, so that users know what to expect.

Taxonomy specific considerations:

Taxonomies are referenced directly by a Bird Journal database, and so have a few additional considerations when making changes.
  • The taxonomy editor never actually deletes taxa that might be in use, but deprecates them instead.  This allows users to update a taxonomy without any impact on their records. Deprecated taxa do not appear in the list of species to enter from, but do appear when viewing records. Shortly, we'll add a utility to locate and migrate away from deprecated taxa.
  • Always prefer to edit an existing taxon to fix any errors, rather than creating a new taxon and deleting the old one. This ensures a simpler upgrade for other users.

What we check:

  • Name structure. The item should be named in the form "[Wildlife category] of [Region], [Country]", where Region is optional. For example, "Birds of the United Kingdom" and "Butterflies of Texas, United States". The only exception is where a region covers multiple countries, then it is acceptable to just use the name of the region, for example, "Mammals of the Western Palearctic" and "Amphibians of North America".
  • Name uses &. For brevity and consistency, names should use the "&" character instead of the full word "and". For example, "Cetaceans & Sharks of the United Kingdom", not "Cetaceans and Sharks of the United Kingdom".
  • Wildlife category. Wildlife category is an easy high level term allowing Bird Journal users to group their observations. There's currently no hard rule about which taxonomic rank is used. Wildlife categories should be in English & use existing category terms where available. For example, Birds, Mammals, Insects, Moths are all currently used.
  • Species taxa have local names. If you have subspecies for a particular species, it is best to make sure the species has a local name. You can also add local names for subspecies if they are available, but not specifying a local name for the species will make it difficult to find, as the scientific name will always be used. When a local name is present for a species, but not for a subspecies, Bird Journal will automatically show this as "Local Name (ssp)". That is, the subspecies part of the scientific name will be shown in brackets after the species local name. This makes it easy to identify subspecies, when when they do not have a local name provided directly.

What we prefer:

  • Families. If family groupings are available, it is preferable to include them to make a taxonomy more complete.

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