The Encyclopedia will be an online reference and database on all 1.9 million species currently known to science and will stay current by capturing information on newly discovered and formally described species. The Encyclopedia of Life will help all of us better understand life on our planet.
The project is a major undertaking. To date, nowhere is there a comprehensive database of each and every species described. The sheer enormity of this work had previously made it “wishful thinking” for the scientific community at large. The crucial software tools to accomplish it, namely aggregation technology and collaborative systems for accumulating and editing content, have only demonstrated their effectiveness on a large scale in the last few years. What was once viewed by many as the impossible dream is now quite possible and is being undertaken.