Encyclopedia of Life

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Encyclopedia of Life
Type of site
Available in
19 languages
Sloan Foundation
Smithsonian Institution
URLeol.org Edit this at Wikidata
LaunchedFebruary 26, 2008; 15 years ago (2008-02-26)
Current statusActive

The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is a free, online encyclopedia intended to document all of the 1.9 million

Field Museum, Harvard University, the Marine Biological Laboratory, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Smithsonian Institution. The project was initially led by Jim Edwards[4] and the development team by David Patterson. Today, participating institutions and individual donors continue to support EOL through financial contributions.[citation needed


EOL went live on 26 February 2008 with 30,000 entries.[5] The site immediately proved to be extremely popular, and temporarily had to revert to demonstration pages for two days when over 11 million views of it were requested.

The site relaunched on 5 September 2011 with a redesigned interface and tools. The new version – referred to as

Arabic, Chinese, Korean and Ukrainian language speakers. On 16 January 2014, EOL launched TraitBank, a searchable, open digital repository for organism traits, measurements, interactions and other facts for all taxa.[6]

The initiative's executive committee includes senior officers from the Atlas of Living Australia, the


Information about many species is already available from a variety of sources, in particular about the

educators, students and professional scientists from around the world.[2]

Resources and collaborations

The Encyclopedia of Life provides full provenance for

academic research should cite directly to the underlying data.[9] Users may not currently edit EOL's entries directly but may register for the site to join specialist expert communities to discuss relevant information, questions, possible corrections, sources, and potential updates, contribute images and sound, or volunteer for technical support services.[10] Its interface is translated at translatewiki.net.[clarification needed

See also


  1. ^ "Encyclopedia of Life – Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History". naturalhistory.si.edu. Retrieved 2021-11-19.
  2. ^ a b "EOL History". Eol.org. 2012-02-28. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  3. S2CID 162249088
    . Retrieved 2007-05-09.
  4. ^ "James Edwards – Encyclopedia of Life". Eol.org. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
  5. ^ Zimmer, Carl (2008-02-26). "The Encyclopedia of Life, No Bookshelf Required". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
  6. ^ "TraitBank: Practical semantics for organism attribute data". Semantic-web-journal.net. 2014-03-28. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
  7. ^ "Scientists compile 'book of life'". BBC News. 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2007-05-09.
  8. ^ "Encyclopédie de la vie: Une arche de Noé virtuelle!". Radio-Canada. 9 May 2007. Retrieved 2009-05-12.
  9. ^ "Encyclopedia of Life". eol.org. Retrieved 2021-11-19.
  10. ^ "Encyclopedia of Life". eol.org. Retrieved 2021-11-19.

External links