Scratchpads NHM

The Scratchpad system is administered by the Natural History Museum. It arose from funds provided as a result of the House of Lords enquiry into Taxonomy.
It is becoming increasingly popular amongst the smaller Recording Schemes as an online home.

Identification keys are amongst the services that these authors provide on their sites.
For an example of one incorporating a Lucid online key, see Antkey (

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I would like to deploy the FSC Identikit keys that I have developed within my Scratchpad site.
My progress so far is detailed here.
How may I make further progress?

Hi Darwyn, long time no see! :wave:

I’ll caveat this reply with the fact that I’m pretty new to Identikit still, so if any of the following advice is wrong, I’m hoping @rburkmar will correct me!

Identikits are a bunch of static HTML, CSS, JavaScript (the app) and CSV (the knowledgebase) files. As such they’re as easy to deploy as it gets - just upload them to a publicly accessible folder on a standard web server. However, integrating them into Scratchpads could be tricky, depending on what Scratchpads can do.

Here’s what you need to do generally:

  • Upload the files to a public web server. Any basic shared host will do. Clook are good and recommended (the £25pa shared-0 plan is fine as long as the KB is no bigger than ~200MB). Several other completely free options are available for the more technically minded (let me know if you want to know more).

  • Once uploaded, either visit the index.html file directly, or add the content to a CMS template, or have a “page type” in your CMS that has parameters that can reference the files on your web server.

I’ve just had a quick play with the Scratchpads demo site, and it looks like you can only add a generic page using filtered HTML - and I’m not sure it’s possible to upload a bunch of files to their servers - I am guessing not. So this suggests you can’t integrate an Identikit with Scratchpads directly (yet).

In the short-term, we can host your Identikit on our server: You can then link to it from your Scratchpad. In the medium to long term, if there’s enough interest, the Scratchpads team could add a page type for Identikits and a way to upload/update files. Perhaps put in a feature request with them for that and suggest they come here to discuss if interested?

Hope that helps.


That all sounds like sensible advice from @charlesroper. Next step would definitely be to talk to the NHM Scratchpads support team.

Thanks Charles. I’ve sent a feature request to the Scratchpads team.
Regarding your offer of hosting my Identikits on your server in the interim, yes please.
Hopefully the zip files on my Scratchpad site at the above link are sufficient.

@Darwyn, I’ve added your Identikits to our server - you can access them at the following URLs:

Large screen:

Large screen:

Note, we’ll need to put in a subhead and a description like you can see here. Also, if you would like me to add the keys to our ID resources built with FSC Identikit page, I’ll need a paragraph for ID resources notes and technical notes. There are plenty of examples on that page if you’re not sure what to write.


Thanks Charles. I’ve uploaded the links to my Scratchpad site now, the better to see them in context:
I’ll see what dipterists make of them now.

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Great! Don’t forget you can provide a sub-head and description. If you let me know what you want to put in there, I’ll upload for you. If you don’t want anything in there, let me know and I’ll remove.

Here’s an example of a key with subhead and description: