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The Echinoderm Files

In a recent contribution aimed at furthering an understanding of the history of echinoderm conferences, we provided a compendium of echinoderm conferences and symposia held from 1963 to 2012 (Ziegler & Kroh 2012). The inquiries leading to this list of active and interrupted conference series revealed that a vast number of studies involving the phylum Echinodermata has been published in the form of abstracts and articles in conference proceedings volumes or special symposium journal issues. These mostly peer-reviewed contributions constitute a scientific treasure trove that is rather difficult to access for a large part of the research community. We therefore set out to provide scientists with an electronic database that would permit obtaining a rapid overview of the articles and abstracts published in the proceedings volumes of past echinoderm conferences and symposia.

The present database contains basic information on all echinoderm-specific meetings that we are aware of, including dedicated echinoderm symposia held within the frame of large, zoological congresses (largely taken from Ziegler & Kroh 2012 and Kroh et al. submitted). The core of the database, however, relates to the content of the proceedings volumes of these meetings. Information on all articles and abstracts published in the proceedings of the International Echinoderm Conferences held from 1975 to 2009 (i.e., IEC 2-13) and the European Conferences on Echinoderms held from 1979 to 2010 (i.e., ECE 1-7) are listed. In addition, publications related to a number of independent symposia have been included as well (i.e., symposia held in 1963, 1966, 1973, 1986, January 1999, December 1999, 2000, and 2006).

Disclaimer: The database contains just metadata of the individual paper, NOT full-text pdf-files. Offering these would represent a copyright-violation, sorry.

The online interface has been created using the software Exhibit 3.0 (Huynh et al. 2007; Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2012), which permits online browsing, filtering, and searching of the database as well as exporting the results in various formats.

Please inform Andreas Kroh of any error or omissions that you may encounter. We are happy to receive any kind of information related to echinoderm meetings not yet included in our list, as well as scans of logos, conference photos, abstract booklets, participant lists or proceedings volumes.

Information on the echinoderms themselves can be found at the dedicated WoRMS echinoderm pages:


  • Kroh A., Jangoux M., Mirantsev G. V. & Ziegler A. 2013. The Echinoderm Files. Accessed at 2013-05-01

How to use the Echinoderm Files webpage

Below the page head the display is split vertically into two areas: the view panel on the left hand side and the navigation panel on the right. The latter contains a text-search box and different pre-defined filters ("facets" in Exhibit-terminology) which allow restricting the list of items shown in the view panel by filtering for various criteria. The unwieldy list of proceedings contributions can thus be restricted to the papers of interest (e.g., by picking "Research paper" in the "Type of Contribution"-box, "Molecular Biology" in the "Research Topic"-box and "Ophiuroidea" in the "Echinoderm Group"-box one can restrict the list of articles to just 8 out of 2450 total references at present). In addition, the data shown can be sorted by one or more data-field by using the controls on top of the view panel. By using these options iteratively it is rapidly possibly to shrink the data down to the items of interest for the current user. At any point of the process the current view can be bookmarked by using the bookmark icon in the upper right corner of the view panel. The scissor icon right next to it allows copying the data of the items currently displayed for re-use in other applications. A pop-up interface offers a selection of various formatting options ranging from Tab-separated to more specific formats like JSON and wikitext. Abbreviations used, such as "IEC" for "International Echinoderm Conference" are explained at the bottom of the view panel.

For presentation on the website, the data used in the present paper have been split into different partitions and supplemented by additional data (such as conference logos and proceeding volume covers). Switching from one data partition to the other is possible by using the links in the page head, directly below the Echinoderm Files logo. The first link "Home" leads to the present page, the second "Conference Series" to information about the different series of meetings, the third "Meetings" to the data on the individual conferences and symposia, the fourth "Proceedings Volumes" to metadata on the publications resulting from these meetings, the fifth "Articles & Abstracts" to information on the individual contributions in these volumes and "Download" offers the possibility to download the complete data in Excel- (*.xls) and coma-separated-variable-format (*.csv). To account for the different nature of the data contained in the individual partitions, several different additional viewing options (termed "lenses" in Exhibit) are possible for displaying the data in the view panel. These range from a map-view (location of the meetings), to different tabular listings and thumbnail-views (for logos and covers). Depending on the browser used the design and functionality of the individual elements may slightly differ. At the time of creation the website worked best with Internet Explorer 10 and Mozilla Firefox 21.


  • Huynh D. F., Karger D. R. & Miller R. C. 2007. Exhibit: Lightweight Structured Data Publsihing. In: WWW '07 Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on World Wide Web. pp. 737-746; ACM: New York, NY. DOI: 10.1145/1242572.1242672
  • Kroh A., Jangoux M., Mirantsev G. V. & Ziegler A. in press. The Echinoderm Files: a database-facilitated access to a hidden treasure trove. Cahiers de Biologie Marine
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2012. Exhibit 3.0 - publishing framework for large-scale data-rich interactive web pages. Available online at [accessed 22/04/2013]
  • Ziegler A. & Kroh A. 2012. Echinoderm conferences and symposia: a concise history and bibliography. Zoosymposia, 7: 1-24. Open Access

Image credits (left to right): Sea star Linkia sp. from Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef by Mike Reich; Feather star Heterometra savignii from El Quseir, Egypt by Bettina Glasl; Sea urchin Mespilia globulus from Koh Phi Phi, Thailand by Bettina Glasl; Sea cucumber Bohadschia argus from Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef by Mike Reich; Brittle star Ophiocoma sp. from Muscat, Sultanate of Oman by Andreas Kroh.

Website and databases developed by Andreas Kroh and hosted by VLIZ · Page generated 2013-09-09 GMT · contact: Kroh Andreas