Creating a reference website ("database")

Hello there,

I’ll be (hopefully) starting a research project in a few months for my undergrad. I’m not completely familiarized with which species occur in the region and their diagnostic features so I was thinking that I could go through papers and compile this info into a dataset/database (?).

First I though about just using Word but then someone shared in Twitter about they were using it to share their supplementary data. Looks really interesting. Is somebody familiar with the platform? I’m planning to (if I can) add the taxonomy of some groups, sections were you should be able to see which animals occur in certain place with basic descriptions, some pictures.

Are there similar/better platforms?

Scratchpads is not loading for me… have you encountered this issue? It sounds interesting but I can’t even see what it is!

Try again? Works for me now from Cape Town. even one from Rhodes University in Grahamstown

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Any tool that stores data in table form rows X columns will do at first, even a simple spreadsheet. I would recommend you to concentrate initially on the type of data that you want to collect, rather than the tool.
At a first glance, Scratchpads site seems rather inactive in recent times – not a good sign.


Why not wikipedia? Whenever I learn something new on iNaturalist, I try to document it in wikipedia (assuming I can find a reliable source to go along with it). In this way, I not only keep track of items that would otherwise be lost, but the rest of the world can benefit as well. Win-win.

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I guess it could work, something like an article that kind of summarize the info with additional ones from taxa.

Yes, I guess if I run into an error or something probably there won’t be much support. Some of the strachpads are still been updated tho

I’ve a spreadsheet from a little survey I did, if I go with scratchpads or something will be updating that one first

Wikipedia is not designed for original research, but I have found Wikiversity useful for this sort of thing - I have used it for lists of references (e.g. here:, as well as for projects that I want to share (here: