The following quickstart guide assumes you are a site member or administrator with permissions to modify content and/or settings in your LifeDesk. If you are not a member of a LifeDesk you can create your own, or contact existing site owners to request membership to their site.

Log in

If you have just created or joined a LifeDesk you should have received an email with instructions for logging in. After your initial log in any subsequent log ins can be carried out on the LifeDesk site's home page

Edit the welcome message on your home page

Immediately below the welcome text on your home page is an option to Edit select this link to edit the welcome message. Click on Home to see the result after any edit. More control of the administration and look & feel of your site (e.g. assigning permissions, adjusting the colors, uploading a logo) is available via Administration in your main menu.

Adjust your profile

Select My Account from the lower section of the main menu at left and then select the Edit tab. Two options will appear under Edit: one for modifying your Account settings, including your name and picture, and one for modifying Personal Information including your background. As a site administrator you can customize the type of information users can enter into their profiles by going to Administration › User Management › Profiles.

Create a primary classification

Before you can add any content to your LifeDesk, you first need to create your primary classification. This taxonomic hierarchy will be the backbone of your site. Most of the data objects (text, images, references) will be attached to one or more taxa in your primary classification, and users of your site will be able to explore your content using the classification navigator. Your initial classification doesn’t have to be perfect. It can be a work in progress that is developed collaboratively over time. Select Manage Classification from the main menu, then click on Add & Import Names. You have two options for importing a primary classification.

Edit your primary classification

Select Manage Classification from the main menu, then click on Tree Editor. In the Tree Editor, you can drag and drop taxa to change relationships. You can also rename taxa, add new ones, cut, copy, paste, and delete taxa via a top toolbar or a right-click context menu. Inline editing of names is accomplished by double-clicking a name. The Name Data Panel provides options for assigning taxonomic rank and relationships between names, and also indicates if you have any data objects such as images, references or text (taxon page) associated with the name. If you prefer, you may also edit your names and certain name properties in an online spreadsheet interface using the Grid Editor (Manage Classification › Grid Editor).

Screencast: LifeDesks Classifications

Watch this screencast to learn about creating and editing your primary classification

Create a taxon page

Select Create Content from the main menu and click on Create Taxon Page to add text content about a taxon. Choose the taxon which you want to describe. You can then add text within chapters from a default subject template that is mapped to the Encyclopedia of Life table of contents. You can customize this template by adding your own chapters (Administration › Taxon Pages › Chapter Configuration). Once you have added and saved content, click on View to see the entire taxon page, including any text, images, references, and name data attached to a given taxon. You can also navigate to taxon pages using either the classification navigator (Show classification in the top right corner of your LifeDesk home page and taxon pages) or the taxon pages list (Taxon Pages in the main menu).

Screencast: Working with Taxon Pages

Watch this screencast to learn about adding text content to taxon pages on your LifeDesk

Add images

From Create Content, select Create Image to upload images to your site and associate them with taxa. Image files must be less than 5 MB in size and a recommended minimum height of 350 pixels. When your images are uploaded, two copies will automatically be made for display purposes: a thumbnail and one for gallery images. The original is accessible by clicking a gallery image. When you associate an image with a taxon from your classification, it will automatically show up on the page for this taxon.

Add bibliographic items

From Create Content, select Create Biblio to add bibliographic items one at a time, or Import Biblio to import bibliographies from BibTeX and EndNote files (please note that there is currently a bug that will cause truncation of data if your Endnote data contains styles such as italics). If you associate your bibliographic item with a taxon then that item will appear as a reference on the taxon page.

Share your content with EOL

To create an export file with your content for EOL go to Administration and select EOL Partnership › Make Endpoint. Select Generate to create an EOL-compatible xml file with all published content from your LifeDesk. Taxon pages and images that are in draft form will not be exported to EOL. A message will appear showing the URL of your LifeDesk endpoint. You will need this URL when you register your LifeDesk as an EOL content partner. For more information, see EOL Partnership.

Screencast: Connecting your LifeDesk to EOL

Watch this screencast to learn how to generate your export file and register your LifeDesk as an EOL content partner.