Sunday 24 June 2012

Online Taxonomy Meeting at Linnean Society of London

I'm going to this - feel free to come too.


Is the Internet really making taxonomic information more accessible to its many actual or potential users? Certainly much effort is being made to put such content online, but how effective are we in achieving this end? This one-day meeting, with its line-up of international speakers, aims to provide an update on progress. It will feature a number of substantive online taxonomy initiatives and a critical review of the current position. The meeting will address the question of whether users’ needs are being met and will conclude with a talk (also serving as an Evening Lecture) on the use of informatics in related disciplines. The event should appeal to all producers and users of taxonomic data.

For the programme and registration form see:

This event will be followed by an evening meeting:


This event is free and open to all, there is no need to register for the evening meeting.

Adding Biblio fields programmatically in Drupal 7

Previosuly I showed how to create a new Biblio type in Drupal 7 - this code covers the next step: adding additional Biblio fields to a Biblio type in code.

Tuesday 5 June 2012


Not content with performing on top of Buckingham Palace - they also put on a good show. Shame about some of the other "stars" they had on before.

Google Images by race

A little study of what happens when you search for  "American", "African", "European" and then "Asian" on Google Image Search.

I'm not quite sure what to make of the results - but here you go...

American (patriotism)

African (culture)

European (bureaucracy)

Asian (I guess beauty if you were to be polite)

Monday 4 June 2012

Biblio Scholar

Various Scratchpad sites I work with, most notably the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (@ZooNom) and the Natural Sciences Collections Association (@Nat_SCA) both use Scratchpads as a platform the online components of their journals (Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature; NatSCA News).

In order to provide some increased metadata to aid search engines in indexing this kind of content I wrote the Biblio Scholar module for Drupal which provides some metadata that may be used by Google Scholar (see Inclusion Guidelines) and potentially other services.

Some more background to the Biblio Scholar project.

Sunday 3 June 2012

On air travel

Yes - this hasn't got any better.....

"It is a measure of the newness which still infects air travel that, although once in the air it completes a journey between two points with the utmost dispatch, at the same time it condemns travellers to dreary hours of waiting and preparation on the ground; to tiresome formalities with Customs, Exchange and Immigration controls at all kinds of places, and finally to cumbersome and ponderous journeys by road to and from aerodromes. It took us two hours after leaving Victoria, to get into the air."

- Laurens van der Post (1952) Venture to the Interior (The author was flying from Heath Row aerodrome)

Friday 1 June 2012

Creating a new biblio type programatically in Drupal 7

How to create a new biblio type in code in Drupal 7:

This is just a modification of the function biblio_admin_types_add_form_submit($form, &$form_state) and run during install of the custom module (using hook_install() ).

Managing Scratchpads tools in eMonocot

Originally published on the eMonocot blog: Managing Scratchpads tools

As I mentioned before, one of the things that tailoring Scratchpads to a particular community or project allows us to do is to develop functionality that is specific to that community or project. Within the eMonocot project we have developed some functionality that is useful across all of the eMonocot Scratchpads (e.g. the IPNI webservice) while other parts (e.g. the Swiss Orchid Foundation images) are useful only to a few of the Scratchpads.
In order to allow site maintainers to pick and choose which subset of these functions they would like I have added a number of the optional fetaures to the Scratchpads Tools feature to make it easy for site maintainers to add/remove these functions with a single click.
eMonocot tools