The Encyclopedia of Life version 3 (EOL v3) you are using now contains the same sort of biodiversity information we hosted in the previous version, but the web platform and data services it is built on have been almost entirely reengineered and updated to modern standards. Users of the previous site will notice major differences in how the site looks and how you use it. But one thing hasn't changed - we're as committed as ever to working with our partners to gather, curate and share knowledge about life on Earth with you.

Mobile first

As you would expect these days, approximately half of our visitors reach the EOL web portal through a mobile device.  To make their experience the best it can be we have styled most of the pages to be mobile-first using modern responsive design techniques. EOL should be functional and easy to use on a mobile phone, a tablet or a desktop computer.

During the beta test period, we have optimized the website for the Google Chrome browser. After we have implemented changes uncovered through testing, we will optimize the experience for all popular modern browsers.

Structured data

In the last few years our users have expressed an interest in biodiversity data like body size, habitat preference, seasonality, color and so on. This information - which we refer to as traits - supports research efforts as well as the curiosity of learners. 

Currently, EOL hosts 12,983,401 trait and attribute records, including 1,642,463 ecological interaction records. There is trait data available for 1,999,030 species and higher taxa.

We also learned that structuring this information in EOL more effectively can also make biodiversity much easier to discover. You will find more structured data on our taxon page overviews, in great detail in the data tabs, and you can crawl it using our advanced search tools.

Like all EOL content, these data are sourced from providers all over the world. Each record comes with detailed provenance information including bibliographic citations and/or web links, so you can trace it to the source. Happy exploring!

New Functionality
  • The EOL Forum:  Discussions related to EOL and its content are now supported on an integrated forum - discuss.eol.org - where you can begin or join a forum thread about a particular species from its EOL species page and discuss other topics. Read more
  • The EOL Open Data Portal: Data files that partner projects and individual users need for their work are made available for download at opendata.eol.org
  • EOL Data Services: On launch the "classic" EOL APIs for taxonomic information and media will continue to be supported. An API for trait and other attribute data is now available; it currently requires authentication. Please contact Jen Hammock  for access. Structured data results from the data search page can also be downloaded by logged in users.
  • The EOL Dynamic Hierarchy: EOL content is now taxonomically organized under a single Dynamic Hierarchy curated by EOL staff. This classification relies on a suite of classification providers for different branches and layers of the tree of life. The Dynamic Hierarchy can also be manually patched and curated as needed; for instance, as updates are suggested by our expert community. Other classifications are also displayed on EOL for comparison, including those of major providers like the Catalog of Life, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS).
Migrating Content to the New Version of EOL

In addition to traits and other structured data, our articles and image collection have been re-harvested into EOLv3. Some video and sound content is also available; we are working to re-harvest the rest of these media partners.

For Previous Users of EOL

If you had an EOL account before, it has been saved for migration to this new version of EOL. For security purposes, you will need to reset your password, but all your other user information will be imported. Your image rating activity, contributed articles, common names and Collections have also been imported into EOLv3. 

EOL no longer supports the direct addition of text to the EOL platform. We encourage our authors to join specialist communities among our content partners, who can provide content curation tools suitable to your area of expertise. If there is no existing platform in your subject area, we have established a mediawiki interface to support new biodiversity content development communities. Read more

You may also be wondering:

What happened to my user profile?

Your account information, including username, associated email, profile description, and collections owned, have been imported to the new EOL. Your username is still your display name on the site, but you must now log in with your email address. We could not migrate your password for security reasons; sorry for the bother. You'll be able to reset it using the Forgot Password process. If you logged in only using a third party provider- Google, Twitter or FaceBook- please bear with us; we're working out some issues with the shared login processes.

What about all my work on the site?

That has been saved, and brought into EOL v3. Some of your work needed to be translated. For instance, you may have given images ratings on our 5 star scale, or selected images as the exemplar for a taxon page. Our new system doesn't have ratings, but each page's media gallery does have a rank order of images, the first of which is the exemplar. Your ratings and exemplar selections, and those of other members, have been combined to produce ordered lists of images to send to the top of the taxon galleries- and others to send to the bottom. Our v3 image galleries have been put in order based on this input.

Some of you have written articles in the EOL v2 interface. These articles have been imported and linked to your user profile. Those of you who are Assistant or Full curators may have contributed common names that EOL was missing, and selected common names as the preferred to show as the page title. These have also been imported, and carry a link to your profile also.

Your collections: Most members who used the collections feature used it to collect species and other taxa. These collections have been brought in. If you had EOL users, images or other media in your collections, I'm afraid we were unable to migrate those items. Their identifiers are not the same in the new platform. The good news is, there's a ton of new stuff for you to collect in EOL now, and new collection tools for you to try.

Your curator status, if you had it, has been cached, and will be applied once curator tools are in place. If you're a full curator, you may have Trusted or Untrusted some media. Those flags will be brought in after your user account is in place, so we can credit you by linking the curation actions to your profile page.

Did you crop images in the old EOL? Custom cropping is not supported in the new EOL, but we have saved all your crop coordinates, and are currently using them to train an AI agent to automatically crop images for EOL display. We hope to be using this automated cropping by the end of 2020