Technical Details

The Embryo Project Encyclopedia is Open Access (OA), and all of the technologies that make it possible are also OA. The website interface is a customized design built with a Drupal content management system. The website designers are the Longsight Group, which worked with researchers at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and at Arizona State University (ASU) to build a site that meets their functional needs, in addition to programmers at the MBL.

The website accesses its contents from a digital repository, called the History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) Repository, which is a Longsight-customized DSpace repository.

The repository resides on MBL servers, and is managed by the Center for Library and Informatics at the MBL. The Embryo Project Encyclopedia was the first project to store its objects in the HPS Repository, which now also holds objects for the History of MBL Project and will soon hold objects for the Biodiversity Project.

The digital objects displayed in the encyclopedia, like all other objects in the HPS Repository, follow the Dublin Core metadata standards. To help train people to write metadata for objects ingested into the repository, we’ve created a Metadata Manual.

Embryo Project computer programmers have made several tools to make the project possible and more efficient. Embryo Project Vogon helps editors code xhtml files quickly, while regular Vogon helps researchers extract relational information from written documents. That information displays as semantic webs, which will be live soon.

The current website is the third iteration of the Embryo Project Encyclopedia since 2007. Previous versions of the website used a customized Fedora repository, also housed at the MBL. The previous website was designed by ASU’s School of Life Sciences Visualization Lab, which also designed the embryo brand for the Embryo Project.