Ways to Contribute to the Tree of Life
The content of the ToL project is compiled collaboratively by scientists, science educators, students, and lifelong learners. While all scientific articles (branch & leaf pages, other articles, and notes) are authored by professional scientists and science educators, anybody can participate in the development of the ToL treehouse and media collection.
Here is a brief overview of the different kinds of ToL contributors and the materials they can contribute. More detailed explanations of the different contributor categories are provided below.
|Contributors||Scientific Core Contributors||General Scientific Contributors||Treehouse Builders||Media Contributors|
|Leaf & branch pages|
|Other articles & notes|
|Images & other media|
- Scientific Core Contributors
- Scientific core contributors build the structure of the tree on the ToL web site, and they write leaf and branch pages. They can also contribute other articles, notes, treehouses, and media files.
- In order to sign up as a scientific core contributor, you need to be a phylogenetic biologists or systematist with an established record of research about the organisms you want to write about. The administration of ToL branch and leaf pages follows a community-based, hierarchical model, with authors for individual pages chosen by coordinators from the relevant scientific community. Leaf and branch pages are subject to review by ToL editors, coordinators and external reviewers, and different page status levels are assigned based on the scrutiny a page has received. If you are interested in authoring ToL branch or leaf pages, please refer to the page about Administration of ToL Scientific Core Content for information about the selection process.
- General Scientific Contributors
- General scientific contributors do not participate in the construction of the ToL tree structure; rather, they write other scientific articles and notes that are attached to the leaves and branches of the ToL. They can also contribute treehouses and media files.
- In order to sign up as a general scientific contributor, you need to be a professional scientist, science educator, or advanced graduate student. The ToL managing editor handles the registration of general scientific contributors and administrates the publication and review of their contributions in consultation with other other ToL authors, coordinators, or external reviewers. While scientific notes are published at the discretion of the managing editor, scientific articles are subject to standard ToL review processes and page status assigments. If you are interested in becoming a ToL general scientific contributor, please have a look at the Authoring Scientific Articles & Notes page and then register when you are ready to discuss your contribution with a ToL editor.
- Treehouse Builders
- Treehouse builders have access to the ToL treehouse authoring system. In addition, they can use the ToL tools for uploading and annotating media files. Treehouse builders create learning materials and other content of general interest that is attached in the form of treehouses to the leaves and branches of the ToL.
- Students, teachers, lifelong learners, and anybody else with an interest in writing about organisms can become a ToL treehouse builder. If you are interested in developing treehouses for the ToL, please refer to the Treehouse Builder pages for information on how to sign up.
- Media Contributors
- Media contributors have access to the ToL tools for uploading and annotating media files. They provide images, sounds, videos, etc. that can be viewed by ToL visitors, and that can be used by other ToL contributors for their articles, notes, and treehouses.
- Students, teachers, lifelong learners, and anybody else with an interest in creating media files about organisms can become a ToL media contributor. If you are interested in contributing media to the ToL, please refer to the Tree of Life Media Contributions page for information on how to sign up.