[Taxacom] Comments on Scratchpads

Vincent Smith vince at vsmith.info
Fri Mar 27 07:13:19 CDT 2020

Dear John and all,

Thanks, Carlos for flagging the Scratchpads. Just to reassure you, the
Scratchpads are still alive and kicking. Across our team of 4 informatics
developers at the NHM London, one is always associated with the Scratchpad
project to address issues and bugs during any 6-week period (code sprint).
Scratchpads still have a wide user base (more than 1000 active sites) and
while we don't promote them as heavily as we once did, they are still
available for new projects.

In addition to the GitHub website (
https://github.com/NaturalHistoryMuseum/scratchpads2), the blog usually
describes the major updates (e.g.
http://scratchpads.eu/news/2020-02/scratchpads-release-2912). There are
some long term questions about the future of Scratchpads and all the
platforms of this type. We explored these in the recent Biodiversity Next
conference in Leiden (see https://biss.pensoft.net/collection/120/ and in
particular, https://biss.pensoft.net/article/38273/ - slides for all these
presentations are available under the media tab), but to cut a long story
short, we are working with providers of similar platforms to come up with a
more sustainable solution for these kinds systems in the long term.

Best regards,


Dr. Vincent S. Smith, Head of Diversity & Informatics Division
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, UK
E-mail: vince at vsmith.info (preferred), Skype: vsmithuk, Tel: +44 (0) 207
942 5127
Meeting Scheduling: http://doodle.com/vsmithuk

Major Projects: http://www.synthesys.info/,
Web: http://vsmith.info/, http://scratchpads.eu/, http://phthiraptera.info/

On Fri, 27 Mar 2020 at 10:43, Carlos Alberto Martínez Muñoz via Taxacom <
taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:

> Hi John,
> By using Google Chrome and Google search, in my computer, Myriatrix
> Scratchpad comes on top, followed by the project in ResearchGate. Third
> place is also for RG, with the related Myriatrix paper.
> By using Microsoft Edge and Bing, in my computer, Myriatrix Scratchpad also
> comes on top, followed by the platform's RSS feeds. In third place comes
> the project in ResearchGate.
> A Hepialidae Scratchpad may come on top too, depending on the uniqueness of
> the name. My search was not for "Myriapoda" or "Onychophora" but
> "Myriatrix".
> Regards,
> Carlos
> Carlos A. Martínez Muñoz
> Zoological Museum, Biodiversity Unit
> FI-20014 University of Turku
> Finland
> ResearchGate profile
> <https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Carlos_Martinez-Munoz>
> Myriapod Morphology and Evolution
> <https://www.facebook.com/groups/205802113162102/>
> El vie., 27 mar. 2020 a las 0:42, John Grehan (<calabar.john at gmail.com>)
> escribió:
> > One or two respondents off line has expressed some concern, but OK if the
> > situation is now more robust (and presumably OK unless NHM gets an
> economic
> > hit from a virus rescission. When I had my own website I noticed that it
> > would come up about 3-4th (usually after Wikipedia) in a websearch. How
> > does web search visibility appear for sites on Scratchpads?
> >
> > John Grehan
> >
> > On Thu, Mar 26, 2020 at 6:39 PM Carlos Alberto Martínez Muñoz <
> > biotemail at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> Hi John,
> >> Out of curiosity, what is the source for "sustained existence of this
> >> resources (Scratchpads) is uncertain due to funding issues". This is the
> >> second time that an email with a similar opinion reaches me. I wonder if
> >> this has something to do with Coleman & Radulovici (2020) (
> >> https://doi.org/10.11646/megataxa.1.1.5)? The opinion on the
> >> sustainability of SP given in that paper is outdated. Considering what
> has
> >> been happening with SP since 2018, that opinion was formed back in 2017
> or
> >> earlier.
> >> “Also, the future of projects made with “Scratchpads” (
> >> http://scratchpads.eu), a content management system primarily designed
> >> for taxonomic contents, remains unclear when developed by a single
> person.
> >> It may stop being updated when the author retires or switches jobs.”
> >> The authors didn't check that indeed the original software developer
> >> left, that the platform stop being maintained and that since 2018 to
> >> present functionality has been recovered. Progress can be followed on
> >> GitHub. A current snapshot:
> >> https://github.com/NaturalHistoryMuseum/scratchpads2/pulse/monthly
> >> The platform has even improved, see the update to the Ecological
> >> Interactions module (https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.7.e47043).
> >> SP is no longer sustained by one developer but by the Informatics Group
> >> at the Natural History Museum, London. If there is a funding problem
> >> threatening the existence of the entire group and the effort they
> devote to
> >> SP, I would very much like to know about it.
> >> Regards,
> >> Carlos
> >>
> >>
> >> Carlos A. Martínez Muñoz
> >> Zoological Museum, Biodiversity Unit
> >> FI-20014 University of Turku
> >> Finland
> >> ResearchGate profile
> >> <https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Carlos_Martinez-Munoz>
> >> Myriapod Morphology and Evolution
> >> <https://www.facebook.com/groups/205802113162102/>
> >>
> >>
> >>
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