Getting Started

Thank you for your interest in ZooBank!

This page is designed to help you quickly get started using the ZooBank Website. Below you'll find simple instructions for doing various tasks on ZooBank, such as searching for content, creating a login account, and creating and editing content.

Please watch the series of ZooBank Video Tutorials for a basic introduction to using the ZooBank website.

If you ever have any questions or encounter a problem, please don't hesitate to contact the ZooBank Administrator via email at: admin “at” zoobank “dot” org (replacing “at” with ‘@’, and replacing “dot” with ‘.’)

A Word about Browsers

ZooBank has been tested with several major browsers on both Windows and Apple operating systems. The images on this page were obtained using Google Chrome version 21.0.1180.60, but the appearance may be slightly different on different browsers and browser versions. Zoobank should work fine with the latest versions of major browsers, including Microsoft Internet Explorer version 9 (IE9), Mozilla FireFox 14.0.1, and Apple Safari version 6.0 (Mac) or 5.1.7 (Windows).

Unfortunately, versions of browsers released prior to 2010 may not work well with ZooBank. In particular, Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) and Mozilla FireFox version 2 (and earlier versions) are incompatible with some aspects of Zoobank (click on the preceeding links to see examples of what ZooBank looks like with these browsers, e.g., the upper logo is faint and lacking a dark blue top band). The ZooBank development team is actively investigating solutions to these problems, but with dozens of different browser versions in current use, it's extremely difficult to identify and resolve all of the problems. If you encounter strange or unexpected behavior while using ZooBank, please provide as many details as you can about the problem (and about the browser version you're using, if known) to admin “at” zoobank “dot” org, to help us identify and resolve browser compatibility issues. Your assistance is very much appreciated!

Understanding the Home Page

The image at right shows the main areas of the ZooBank Home Page.

  •  The ZooBank logo at the top-left side of the screen is visible on every page, and is also a link directly back to the home page when clicked.
  •  On the right side of the top banner are the menu options.
  •  The About menu links to a page with an overview ZooBank.
  •  The Contact menu links to a page with ZooBank contact information.
  •  The API menu links to a page with information on ZooBank Application Programming Interface specifications for developers of other websites, who want to use ZooBank web services.
  •  The Login menu opens the login form and includes links for forgotten password and creating an account.
  •  The Help menu opens this page.
  •  In the upper center of most ZooBank pages is a search box. Enter text in this box and click the “Search” button to find content in ZooBank.
  •  On the lower right side of the home page is the button to create a login account with ZooBank.
  •  On the lower right side of the home page are the statistics for ZooBank, including total numbers of registered items, and links to the most recently registered item in each category.

  • Click on the image to see the full size.

    Creating a ZooBank Account

    Creating a ZooBank Account is free and easy. All you need is a functional email address.

    Click on the button for ‘Create an Account’ on the home page, and you will see a page with the form that appears at right.

    On the page, enter your complete Given Names (first and middle names), and your Family Name (last name) in the appropriate fields. If there any possible matches already in the ZooBank database, you'll see a list of them appear in a pop-up box, along with a histogram for each person showing a graphic representation of when the person has published. If you see your name on this list, click the name to select it. Otherwise, click the button that says ‘Not in List’.

    Once you have entered your name (and, if applicable, linked it to your existing record in ZooBank), enter your preferred username. Next, enter and confirm your active email address, and enter and confirm the password you would like to use (the password must be at least six characters in length).

    Enter the text for the ‘reCaptcha’ words displayed in the section below the data fields. Buttons to the right of the displayed words allow you to load a different text image (if it's too hard to read), or have the words spoken audibly.

    After entering all the fields, click the button labelled ‘Create Account’ at the bottom of the form. As soon as you do this, an email message is sent to the address you provided, which should arrive within a few minutes. This message includes a link to confirm your new ZooBank account. When you click this link or enter it in the address bar for your browser, your new ZooBank account will be automatically activated. If you can't find the email message in your Inbox, check to see if it might have been put in yout Spam folder. If you never receive the message, please contact admin [at] zoobank [dot] org for assistance.

    Click on the image to see the full size.

    Logging in to ZooBank

    When you click on the ‘login’ menu in the upper right corner of the ZooBank page, a form pops up that allows you to log in to ZooBank. After you enter your username and password in the appropriate boxes, click om the ‘Log In’ button.

    If you've forgotten your password, click on the link on the Login menu form for ‘Forgot your password?’, and an email will be sent to the email address you provided when you first established the account. The email contains a link that will allow you to reset your password.

    Once you have successfully logged in to ZooBank, you'll see that the banner at the top of each web page changes (see below) to include your name, indicating that you are now logged in. There is also a new menu item ‘register content’, which allows you to start entering new content. The ‘Login’ menu item changes to say ‘log out’; clicking the ‘log out’ menu option will actively log you out from ZooBank. If you remain idle for too long (e.g., if you leave your computer for a while), you will be automatically logged out from ZooBank.

    Another change you'll see when you are logged in is that the button on the lower-left side of the ZooBank that used to say ‘Create an Account’, now says ‘Register Content’. Clicking this button has the same effect as selecting the ‘register content’ menu item at the top.

    Click on the image to see the full size.

    Once you are successfully logged in, you are ready to start adding content to ZooBank!

    Click on the image to see the full size.

    Registering Works

    When you chose the option to Register content – whether by the ‘register content’ menu option or the ‘Register Content’ button – you will be presented with a form to begin entering details for a registerd work.

    Notice the small blue circular icons with the white question marks inside them, located to the right of every field or option on the data entry form. These icons provide information about each field in two ways.

    First, if you point your mouse at these icons, you will see a yellowish box containing a short hint or reminder for what the purpose of the field or selection option is used for.

    Second, if you click on the icon with your mouse, you'll see a more detailed help box pop up on the upper right side of the screen. This help box provides more detail about each field and how to select it or enter content in it.

    If you have any trouble entering content in ZooBank, these help icons should be your first resource for reference. If the help text is unclear or incomplete, or if it doesn't match the behavior of the actual data entry form, please contact admin “at” zoobank “dot” org for assistance.

    Registering New Names

    If you want to register new names in a work that has already been registered, the first step is to find the existing registered work. From the home page or any other page with a ‘Search’ box on it, enter a few distinguishing terms for the work (e.g., author names, one or two distingusihing words in the title, part of the journal name, etc.) and click the Search button. If you find the work you're looking for in the search results, click on it to select the record. If you are logged in and have appropriate credentials to edit content (see section below for “Editing Content”), then there will be a button to allow you to create new names within the selected Work if the work is already Registered. If it's not already registered, you'll see a button to register it first; after which you can register new names.

    If the work is not already in ZooBank, follow the steps above (“Registering Works”) to register the work first, then you can register new names within that work.

    Editing Content

    Once you begin entering content, you may discover that you need to edit that content – either to correct errors, or to add new information.

    When you select a particular record for an Author, Work, or Nomenclatural Act in ZooBank while you are logged in, you may have the option to edit the record. Whether or not you can edit a particular record depends on your authentication level, as follows:

    •  Anonymous users (i.e., users who are not logged in) may not create or edit any content.
    •  Self-sponsored Users (all new users are self-sponsored) may create records, and may edit any record that they created themselves.
    •  Sponsored Users (Users sponsored by a ZooBank Editor) may create records, and may edit any record that they created themselves, or that they themselves are an author on.
    •  Editors may create records, and may edit any record in the system. Editors may also sponsor other users.

    It's also important to know that prospectively registered content (i.e., content that is registered prior to publication) will not be visible publicly. Such content will only be visible to logged-in users who created the content, or to sponsored users who are co-authors on the prospectively registered unpublished work, or to Editors.

    Click on the image to see the full size.

    Inserting Special Characters

    When entering content that includes special characters (e.g., accented characters, symbols, etc.), you can access a pallette of special characters by clicking on the "Special Characters" buttons. To use this feature, position the cursor in the field where you want the special character inserted, then click the right mouse button and a pop-up form displays a series of special characters that may be inserted. Click on the character you want, and it will be inserted at the point where your cursor was placed in the selected field.

    Alternatively, after placing the cursor where you want the special character, click on the ’Special Characters‘ button with the Ω (Omega) symbol to dispay the Special Characters pop-up form.

    Click on the image to see the full size.


    We are trying to translate ZooBank into as many languages as possible. If you are fluent in both English and another language not already listed, and are willing to assist in the translation of ZooBank, please contact admin [at] zoobank [dot] org. For languages that are already listed at the bottom of each page, you can select that language, and then click the "Help Us Translate" link (in the current language). You will be presented with a list of English phrases and an incomplete list of translations in the selected languages. Make additions and corrections, and then hit "Save Changes".

    Any effort you can put into translating some of ZooBank is greatly appreciated!