Multi-access key

A multi-access key is a multiple-entry key based on a matrix of “objects” (species and other taxa) and character states. The matrix defines each object as a series of character states. For example, the definition for an object with green eyes and four legs would contain the state “green” for the character “eyes,” and the state 4 for the character “number of legs.”

This module has been designed to allow for multiple identification files for each taxonomic group. Thus, you could create one matrix file for basic taxonomic descriptions, one for ecological characteristics, and one for morphologic or structural information. Or it could be useful to create one matrix file for characters as seen in preserved specimens, and another for fresh specimens.
You can also create a tree-shaped hierarchy of matrix files – a “master” file with a general key for your group, leading to several other files with more detailed keys of subgroups.

When first using this module you have to create a new matrix. When there is more then one matrix in the project and you want to go to another matrix available in the project click "select another matrix".

Edit matrix

When the Multi-access module first opens you have to create a new matrix. When there is more than one matrix in the project you can jump to another one by clicking “select another matrix”.

Characters
The characters are shown in the upper left field.
To add one or more characters to the matrix, click “add new”.
To edit or delete a character select the character you want to edit and click “edit/ delete selected”.
A character’s type is shown between brackets () to the right of its name.
You can change the order of the characters by selecting “sort characters”.

Character groups
You can group some characters, like all the characters dealing with the wings, the eyes, etc. To do so, click "edit character groups", create a new group, drag the characters you want to be part of this group and click save. In the web-interface (front-end) these characters will be grouped.

States
The states of the selected character are shown in the bottom left field.
To add a state, first select the character where you want to add the new state to, then click “add new for...”
To edit or delete a state select the state you want to edit and click “edit/ delete selected”.
You can change the order of the states by selecting “sort states”

Taxa
The taxa are shown in the upper right field.
All taxa in the current matrix file are listed. You can add taxa by clicking on “add new taxon” or remove taxa by clicking on “remove selected taxon”.

Links
You define a taxon by linking character states to it. First select a taxon, then a character, then select the state you want to link to the selected taxon. Click “add new” at the bottom of the "taxon states" window (bottom right). The linked states of the selected character and taxon are shown in the "taxon states" window.
To delete a link from a taxon select the state in the "taxon states" window and click “delete selected”.
To see an overview of all character states linked to the selected taxon click "display current links per taxon & other matrices".

New character

Start by giving a name for the character in both the “Internal name” and the "English name" field (or any language available in the project). Then choose a “Character type” from the pop-up list. The following types are available:

• text: a textual description.
• media: for states where an image will be attached
• range: a value range, defined by a lowest and a highest value.
• distribution: a value distribution, defined by a mean and values for one and two standard deviations.

Instead, you can also use an existing character from one of the other matrices (if present). To do so, select the name from the pop-up list on the bottom of this page and click "use".

Click “save” before leaving this page. The character is added to the bottom of the list of characters (sorted in entry order). You can later change the order of the characters.

Editing character

On this page you can change the name and the type of a character or delete a character. However, you cannot change the character type of a range character, and you cannot change a text or media character to a range character. And, if you change the type of a media character, its states will no longer be linked to any media files.

New state

On this page you can add a new state to a character.

• For a text-character: enter the name and text of the new state.
• For a media-character: enter the name and upload/attach a media file for to the new state.
• For a range-character: enter the name and lower and upper limit (inclusive) of the new state.
• For a distribution-character: enter the name, mean and standard deviation of the new state.

When finished click “save and return to matrix” or “save and add another state for “…”. The new state will now be added to the bottom of the list. You can later change the order of the states.

Editing state

On this page you can change the name and data of a state or delete a state. To change the media for a media state you first have to click "delete image" to detach the current media, after that you attach a new media item. When finished click “save and return to matrix” or “save and add another state for “…”.

Editing matrix: sort characters

On this page you can change the order of the characters. Drag and drop to sort, click 'save' to store the new order.

Editing matrix: sort states

On this page you can change the order of the states. Drag and drop to sort, click 'save' to store the new order.
You also can sort “alphabetically” or “numerically” by clicking these options. Sorted this way the new order is saved automatically.

Adding taxa

On this page you can add taxa to the multi-access key. Select the taxa you want to add from the list "Taxon to add". With shift you can select more than one taxon at a time. After selecting click “save and return to matrix” or “save and add another taxon“.

On this page you can examine taxon-state links in the matrix. To do so select a taxon from the list "select a taxon". You now get a list of all the characters and states which are linked to the selected taxon.

Management

Available matrices: matrices present in the project
Create a new matrix: to create a new matrix
Taxon relations: To activate the "similar species" icon in the front end
Define ranks that can appear in key

Matrices

On this page you see a list of matrices that are currently defined. To edit a matrix' name, click "edit name". To edit the actual matrix, click its name. To set as default, click "set as default". In the list the default matrix has an * behind its name.

Edit name
On this page you can edit the Internal name, the Dutch name and the English name of a matrix (or any language available in the project). After editing click "save".

New matrix

On this page you can create a new matrix. Enter an Internal name, a Dutch name and English name (or any language available in the project). After editing click "save".

Taxon ranks in key

On this page you can define the ranks that will be part of the key.
The taxa that are of a rank below the red line in the list are available in the key. To change the selection, move the red line up or down by clicking the ↑ and ↓ arrows. To include all ranks, move the line to the top of the list, above the first rank. As at least one rank is required to be included, the line cannot be moved below the lowest rank. When you are satisfied with your selection, click the save-button.
Please note that changing this setting will not detach any taxa that have already been attached to an end-point of the key. Taxa that have a rank that is no longer part of the selection will remain connected to the key, until you manually detach them.
Be aware that the setting you choose here will also apply for the Single-access key.

Taxon relations

Select a taxon which you want to relate to another taxon. After you have selected a taxon a list of other taxa appears. By clicking the + behind a name you can link taxa. This activates the "similar species" icon in the web-interface (front-end).


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