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New Version Of The Encyclopedia Of Life Now Available

Groundbreaking web initiative provides trusted information on 700,000 species, 35 million pages of scanned literature and over 600,000 photos

Redesigned site now lets users create and share virtual collections

WASHINGTON, Sept. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The second edition of the free, online collaborative Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) debuts today with a redesign and new features making it easier to use, personalize, and to interact with fellow biodiversity enthusiasts worldwide.  It is also vastly expanded, offering information on more than one-third of all known species on Earth.

EOLv2 offers more than 20 times as many pages with content than when the EOL.org  first launched -- up from the original 30,000 pages in February 2008 to 700,000 today.  The global partnership of over 170 content providers behind EOL.org aspires to build a site with 1.9 million pages -- one for every species known to science. Fully internationalized, the new EOL.org provides for English, Arabic, and Spanish language speakers.

With the new interface, users can more easily find species of interest; create personal virtual collections of photos and information; find or upload pictures, videos and sounds; and share comments, questions and expertise with users worldwide who share similar interests.

" EOL.org Version 2 will effect an extraordinary expansion of the Encyclopedia of Life, opening its vast and growing storehouse of knowledge to a much larger range of users, including medicine, biotechnology, ecology, and now increasingly the general public," said Harvard University biologist Dr. Edward O. Wilson, one of the driving forces behind the formation of the EOL.

A global community of over 700 'curators' review and approve content to be displayed in the portal.  Staff at contributing institutions in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas support this international initiative.  

"EOL brings together citizens, students, educators, conservationists and researchers from around the world in real time to explore the dynamic complexities of the biodiversity they care about," said Dr. Erick Mata, EOL Executive Director. "This collaboration brings a human focus to science and harnesses the creative potential of EOL's users."

EOL is supported by founding sponsors the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  Additional support comes from EOL member institutions and donations from around the world.

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