Authoring Scientific Articles & Notes
The scientific core content on ToL branch and leaf pages is enhanced and expanded through other scientific articles and notes, which are presented to ToL visitors on linked pages. ToL contributors can use this format to provide detailed information about a particular aspect of an organism's biology.
The main difference between articles and notes lies in their depth and length: an article should provide a thorough review of a topic, while notes can be brief vignettes, commentaries, or even collections of media files (e.g., image galleries). Also, scientific articles undergo the standard ToL review process and associated page status assigments, while notes are subject only to the approval of the ToL managing editor.
Content of ToL Scientific Articles and Notes
ToL scientific contributors can use scientific articles and notes to provide:
- information about topics that are not covered on the branch or leaf page
- additional information about topics that are only briefly covered on the branch or leaf page
- alternative views of issues that are covered on the branch or leaf page, or in other articles or notes
There are many interesting things about organisms that simply do not fit on branch and leaf pages. However, there is no limit to the number of topics that can be covered on attached articles and notes. Scientists are encouraged to use these pages to showcase their research projects to their colleagues and the general public. Overviews provided in ToL articles or notes can also serve as portals to more detailed information on a contributor's own web site. The content of articles and notes should be scientific in nature, and these contributions should be within a researcher's realm of scholarly expertise. Generally, this means that a scientist should have a record of publications or an active research program in a given field. We welcome submissions from graduate students about planned and ongoing thesis projects, and we encourage retired scientists to provide syntheses of their past work.
If you are a scientist but want to publish material outside of your professional field of expertise (e.g., a microbiologist with a passion for butterflies), we may suggest that your contribution be published as a ToL treehouse rather than a scientific article or note. Treehouses are attached to the branches and leaves of the ToL just like scientific articles and notes, however, they are subject to different content expectations and editorial policies. Treehouses also let scientific contributors present artistic or cultural information about their favorite organisms. Note that once you are signed up as a scientific contributor, you do not have to register separately as a treehouse builder, you already have access privileges for the treehouse tools and can simply log-in with your ToL user name and password.
In order to be able to submit other articles or notes to the ToL for publication, you need to sign up as a ToL Scientific Core Contributor or General Scientific Contributor. Before beginning work on your pages, please have a look at Planning Scientific Articles and Notes and Guidelines for ToL Page Authors. Instructions on how to use the ToL data entry tools for scientific articles and notes are provided on the Creating Scientific Articles & Notes page.