Ecolynx Project: Information Context for Biodiversity Conservation

Interactivity with CD-ROM and Web users

UIA is especially interested in the interactive possibilities offered by software such as FolioViews to allow users to "modify" and "annotate" data supplied in read-only format, by working through read-write overlay files specific to each user. These facilities have already been made available on the UIA CD-ROMs, allowing users to supplement descriptions and to add hyperlinks. The next step would be to enable simple online transfer of selected portions of user data to the data providers as comments or data updates or supplements.

For both the UIA and WCMC, the feedback facilities offered through the Web enable users to point out both deficiencies in the data and new sources of information. Methods of accrediting suppliers of feedback could be explored to ensure that such comments are available, duly flagged, to other online users. As suggested under Moderation and maintenance of information, one promising approach to be tested during the Implementation Phase would be to channel feedback into a range of buffers labelled "authorised" to "unknown". Users would then have the possibility of immediately accessing additional information flagged to the level of credibility they require. Such feedback would eventually be processed, according to priorities and resources, to integrate the new with pre-existing information. It is possible that some of this editing and integration could be done by external editors, who are gradually brought into partnership with the project through their personal and professional interest in its services.