At long last we (the Scratchpad team) have got around to publishing a formal paper on the Scratchpads. There are several short notes and conference proceedings published about the work we have been doing, but this is the first technical paper that describes in details the overall architecture of the project and sets out the sociological model of what we are trying to achieve. The paper will appear as one of nine papers selected for a special series sponsored by the Encyclopedia of Life project, for the journal BMC Bioinformatics. BMC, with the help of the special issue editor Neil Sarkar, selected the Scratchpad paper to highlight the publication in a press release entitled "Darwin meets Facebook". You can find a copy of the press release attached to the bottom of this page.
Unfortunately our paper is already slightly out of date! Written in April in the run up to the eBiosphere 09 meeting, the text describes the technical architecture then, rather than now. Drupal (the underlying content management system that provides the backbone architecture) has moved on since April 09, as have many of the contributed modules we use in the Scratchpads, and the 25+ modules we have written as part of the project. Nevertheless, the paper provides the best description to date of what we are doing, and (to some extent) where we are going with this project.
The citation is:
Vincent S Smith, Simon D Rycroft, Kehan T Harman, Ben Scott and David Roberts. 2009. Scratchpads: a data-publishing framework to build, share and manage information on the diversity of life. BMC Bioinformatics 2009, 10 (Suppl 14): S6doi:10.1186/1471-2105-10-S14-S6.
The paper will be published on or around Novermber 10th 2009, and the press release wil be available here from Nov. 6th. Press queries should go through Claire Gilby, Senior Press Officer, Natural History Museum in the first instance. Tel: 020 7942 5106. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.