Information about Upcoming Changes to BHL Commenting Feature


A new and enhanced commenting system is being planned for BHL. The current commenting system will be disabled on July 5.

More Information

In December 2015, we launched the ability to add comments to pages in BHL books. Our audience has since used this feature to provide details about taxonomic changes, link field notes to crowdsourced transcriptions, and provide species and common name information for scientific illustrations.

Our community has both demonstrated the value of having a commenting feature in BHL and helped identify the need for additional functionality that is not supported by the current system. In order to respond to this feedback and address residual technical issues, we have decided to implement a new and enhanced commenting system as part of BHL Version 2, the next iteration of the world’s largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature.

We will be disabling the current system from the BHL website on July 5. This strategic decision allows us to focus development time on implementing an enhanced system without the need to provide continued support for the existing platform. Requirements gathering for the new system will begin in early 2017 as part of the work of the BHL NDSR resident program. We will provide updates via this blog and social media.

While the current system will no longer be available in BHL as of July 5, all comments added to BHL pages to date will remain available through the BHL Disqus profile. Those comments on Disqus will also remain linked to the corresponding BHL pages, meaning that you can still access the information that our communities have added via these comments and explore the related pages in BHL. We will also be archiving these existing comments with the plan to re-ingest them into BHL once the new commenting system is implemented.

We want to extend a huge thanks to everyone who has contributed comments to BHL, demonstrating the value that such a system has for our community. We’re excited about the way commenting allows our audience to share their expertise and enhance our collections, and we look forward to incorporating the feedback we’ve received from our users into the design of the next generation of our commenting system.

Questions? Feel free to submit feedback.

Avatar for Grace Costantino
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Grace Costantino served as the Outreach and Communication Manager for the Biodiversity Heritage Library from 2014 to 2021. In this capacity, she developed and managed BHL's communication strategy, oversaw social media initiatives, and engaged with the public to excite audiences about the wealth of biodiversity heritage available in BHL. Prior to her role as Outreach and Communication Manager, Grace served as the Digital Collections Librarian for Smithsonian Libraries and as the Program Manager for BHL.