Most elements of the ICN portal are self-explanatory. Several features are still under construction. The following notes provide basic information on how to use the Portal.
You have two options when searching for a taxon: (1) navigate the taxon tree, or (2) type the name of the taxon in the search field. When searching for a possible synonym, the latter option is strongly recommended. You can use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard in the search field.
Using the “Advanced search”, you can restrict your search to certain types of names (e.g., accepted names only) or to a geographical region. For geographical restriction, choose one of the TDWG levels and mark an entity in the corresponding drop-down list.
In your search results list, the names of accepted taxa are displayed in red. All other names are synonyms. Clicking on them leads you to the page of the accepted taxon.
Pages for species and subspecies consist of four tabs: General, Synonymy, Images (optional) and Specimens.
The General tab aims at providing (1) an image, (2) notes on systematics, (3) a description, data on (4) distribution, (5) ecology, and (6) credits; addition of further data, e.g. on image references, chromosome numbers, palynology and uses, is intended.
Most descriptions are still taken from the literature as indicated. These descriptions are being gradually replaced by standardised descriptions generated with Delta Access from a character/character state matrix, in which case they are indicated as such. Their terminology is explained in the Glossary.
Distribution data (following the TDWG standard) are listed according to country or region and displayed in a zoomable map, using TDWG areas as mapping units. The status of occurrence is displayed using different colours as indicated. All records are referenced.
Credits: Each data or image contributor other than the editors is cited under this paragraph.
The Synonymy tab displays a chronologically sorted list of synonyms (for further details see Conventions). The icon following a citation links to the original description.
The Images tab contains the available images for the taxon, displayed in a viewer. Most functionalities are self-explanatory. To change from normal to fullscreen display, click on the rightmost button on the toolbar.
Pages for higher ranked taxa are similarly structured, but concentrate on systematics and have no Images and Specimens tabs. Cumulative distribution maps are planned for the future.
The Specimens tab displays the revised specimens. So far they are georeferenced, their locality is shown in a dot distribution map. These maps are planned to supplement or replace at some later stage the current TDWG unit maps in the General tab under Distribution.
Information on how to contribute and how to cite can be found at Home.