We offer a variety of pathways to information. Please let us know if these are not suffient. There are, after all, three ways of finding information you want. You can read everything, browse (like flicking through the pages) or search (such as by using an index). With a large web site with a non-linear structure, reading everything is not realistic. So we often a variety of search and browse issues.
Searching is a good strategy bif you know precisely what you want. Type the word or words into the search box, and off you go. In this web site, we offer optioons to search different databases - the classification, the image descriptions, the glossary and all of the site. We will add some more.
Browsing is a means of finding information by progressively selecting material that is more relevant over information that is less relevant. It is a bit like a pathway. In this web site, you can 'browse' or navigate through the classification. At each step, you will be offered a choice of daughter taxa (children) and you can pick one of these. These steps eliminate the content that is not linked to this branch of the classification, and so narrows the array of material that you will find. You can also browse using the alphabetical listing of names. You can also browse to content through the collections. These too can be browsed alphabetically, but the collections are also arranged by concept: such as placing collections in the same region of the world together, or by clustering collections by the kind of habitat that was studied (so separating marine collections from terrestrial ones) for example. A special kind of browsing is confusingly referred to as faceted searches. We do not (yet) have such a system in place but this can be seen at our sister site, Microbial Life. Visit that site, select 'on line resources', and you will be given the option of filtering (reducing) the resources by an array of different criteria (such as 'Resource type' or 'Educational Level'). Faceted searches allow you to combine these different selection criteria. Matrix searches, such as are used in matrix keys, take this process one step further. We have begun to explore the use of the X:ID matrix keys.