EWS Help Page

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General design

  • This is the Early Warning System help page

System Overview

The Early Warning System is a tool which draws on the resources of the Australian Virtual Herbarium (AVH) to identify new geographical occurrences of a plant.

The EWS will monitor a defined list of plants (weeds) to raise an alert when a new specimen first appears in a new location.

The EWS Administrator creates lists of plants to be monitored (weeds).

The User can create sub-lists of plants of interest from the above lists.

The system will then monitor the specimen databases of the Herbaria members of the AVH and decides if a specimen identified by users has appeared in a new location (i.e. a possible expansion of its infestation). If it does, a pending alert is raised (by email to the user and the Herbarium Administrator) and the herbarium then checks to see if it is a real expansion of range. If it is, the alert is raised to Red (Confirmed) else it is downgraded to Green (Cancelled). This is reported to the User in the same format as an Orange (Pending) Alert to enable comparisons with report. To assist in administration, a master list of Orange (Pending) alerts is maintained.

The AVH Administrator approves requests from users who want to become Herbarium operators.

EWS Portal pages

EWS Home page

The home page for the EWS Application displays information about the system, data use agreement and Partnership client summary. It gives potential users the ability to register as a user and current users the ability to logon to the system. Usage and information statistics page is also linked from this page.

Here's a list of the usage statics that the EWS Usage and statics page provides:

  • Total number of approved users of the system
  • Total number of lists created by the EWS administrator and users
  • Total number of plants the EWS application is indexing
  • Number of distribution changes reported for the previous day, week, month, and year

User Registration page

The User Registration screen requires potential users to complete standard registration details and to give their reasons for requesting data from EWS. Users who want to register as an EWS administrator or just as a normal EWS user will have to select the "EWS administrator" option from the "Send to:" selection box so that their requests get sent to the EWS administrator for approval. Only the EWS administrator is capable of approving user requests and changing the role of a normal user to an EWS administor.

Users who want to also register as a Herbarium operator need to send their requests to the AVH administrator. They can indicate in the "Reasons" text area box that they want to become an operator of the Herbarium they are a member of.

Details of the users who have registered and got disapproved are still kept in the database. If a user tries to register again, his/her entry will be overwritten and the EWS administrator will be notified again to look into the new entry he/she has provided. It will be up to the EWS administrator to decide if they will approve them this time or disapprove their registration again.

Logon page

EWS users can enter the system via this page. Users will also have the ability to change their password using this page.

EWS Admin Menu page

This is the page the EWS Administrator is presented with after he/she logs in. The page allows the EWS Administrator to select a task to perform.

Master Plant List Generator page

The EWS Administrator will have the ability to add, modify and delete species names in the master list. The EWS Administrator is responsible for the maintenance of current name of plant species and the relationship between current name and associated alternative names that may apply in some herbaria.

The current list of plants in the master list will be displayed in the plant names drop down menu. When a plant is selected from the plant names drop down menu and if the selected plant known by other names, its synonyms will be displayed in the synonym drop down menu.

In adding a current name or synonym for a plant name, the ADD button in the current name or synonym records needs to be pressed first. You then need to fill in the Genus, Species, Infraspecic Rank, and Infraspecific name text fields about the plant that you want to add to the master list. Press the SAVE button after you have filled in the required fiels for the plant that you are adding. The Infraspecific name is an optional field so the page will not complain if you leave it blank before pressing the SAVE button.

In modifying or deleting a plant record, the plant name needs to be selected from the drop down menu first before you press the MODIFY or DELETE button. Just remember to press the SAVE button after you have selected the plant to be deleted so that it will be deleted from the database. If you are modifying a plant name, only press the SAVE button after you have made the changes on the fields you want to modify.

Notification emails are sent to all users if the EWS administrator adds, modifies, or deletes a plant from the master plant list.

Admin Plant List Generator page

The EWS Administrator is responsible for generating relevant weed plant lists (each state's declared weeds or other authoritative weed lists) from the master list of all weed species. Not all species within the master list will occur within a plant list. The list of plant list names is to be displayed with the ability to modify or add new.

All the lists owned and created by the EWS administrator will be displayed in the Admin Plant List drop down menu. The plants which are part of the lists get displayed in the Select Plant names selection box if a plant list is selected from the Admin Plant List drop down menu.

The administrator can add a new plant list by pressing the NEW button and typing in the name of plant list in the Plant List Name text box. The EWS admin has an option of adding plants to the new plant list by selecting plants he want to add from the Select Plant names selection box and pressing the ADD button. To add the plant list into the database, the EWS administrator needs to press the OK button.

The EWS administrator can add and remove plants from the plant list by selecting the plant list from the drop down menu and pressing the MODIFY button. After the administrator is done adding or removing plants from the plant list, he/she can press the OK button. You need to note that you cannot modify a plant list name. To rename a plant list, you will have to create the new plant list giving it the name you want and adding the plants you have in your old plant list, saving the new plant list and deleting your old plant list.

The EWS administrator can delete a plant list by selecting the plant list to be deleted from the drop down menu and pressing the DELETE button. The OK button needs to be pressed to confirm the deletion of the plant list.

EWS Admin's User Administration List page

This page provides the EWS Administrator with a list of registered (approved and denied) users (both EWS Administrators and EWS users). Users can be deleted from this page. Add and modify will go to the User Maintenance page. Each user name will be linked to their registration details for dification. The list may be sorted by clicking any of the following column headings, Name, Institution, Status, and Status Date.

User Maintenance page

The EWS or AVH Administrator reserves the right to approve or disapprove a prospective user's registration. The EWS or AVH Administrator is also responsible for the maintenance of all usernames, passwords, and contact details.

The EWS or AVH Administrator is alerted via email of a pending registration, which is accessible via URL in the email or via the user administration list screen. Once the EWS or AVH administrator approves or disapproves a pending request, the system sends out an email to the user about his/her approved or disapproved request. The EWS or AVH administrator is also given an option to modify the default approval or disapproval email being sent out by the system.

The EWS or AVH Administrator can add a user directly to the list of EWS users or Herbarium operators by adding him/her from the User Administration List. The system will send out a mail to the user about his/her login details.

The users' passwords are not accessible from the User Maintenance page. What the EWS or AVH administrator can do if a user forgets his/her email address is to reset it and it will already be up to the user to change his/her password when he/she logs on again.

AVH Admin Menu page

This is the page the AVH Administrator is presented with after he/she logs in. The page allows the AVH Administrator to select a task to perform.

AVH Admin's User Administration List page

This page provides the AVH Administrator with a list of registered (approved and denied) users (both AVH Admins and Herbarium operators). Users can be deleted from this page. Add and modify will go to the User Maintenance page. Each user name will be linked to their registration details for modification. The list may be sorted by clicking any of the following column headings, Name, Institution, Status, and Status Date.

Herbarium Alert List page

The Herbaria Administrator/Operator will be able to access a list of Orange (pending) alerts for verification from this page. The alerts are listed in order of priority according to user report due date. The list may also be sorted by any field/column by clicking its heading.

Each specimen plant name will have a hyperlink to its alert verification page. It is estimated that verification should average two weeks.

The EWS and AVH Administrators can also access Alert List page for any Herbarium via the EWS and AVH Administrator Admin Menu pages.

Herbarium operators can also see alerts from herbariums they are not administering but there won't be any hyperlinks to the specimen alerts.

Alert List Archive page

This is the page where archived Red and Green alerts can be browsed. This page has the same interface layout as the Herbarium Alert List page.

Alert List Confirmation page

A notification email is sent to the relevant Herbarium operators when a distribution change is noted. Herbarium operators are responsible for verifying the data that is reported from their herbarium.

An Orange (Pending) alert is verified by changing the alert status to Red (Confirmed) if the data is correct or Green (Cancelled) if the data is incorrect. This page can be accessed via a URL contained in the verification email or via the Orange (Pending) Alert List. Each herbarium will have the Orange (Pending) alerts reported to them separately.

Once the Herbarium operator updates an Orange alert's status to Red or Green alert, the Orange specimen disappears from the Herbarium Alert List page. The Red and Green alert gets put in an archive list table which the EWS administrator can access via the Alert List Archive page.

User Plant List Generator page

The user has the ability to create plant list/s specific to their own interest using this page. This page functions just like how the Admin Plant List Generator page works.

Initially, users will be presented with only the EWS administrator's plant lists. The user can add, modify, or delete their own plant lists. The user can select plant species from the master plant list or their own plant lists (that is if they have already created one) and add it to their own plant list. The user can also specify the grid resolution they prefer. Users however won't be able to browse other users' lists.

If a plant specimen in a plant list that a user has created is found in a new grid, an Orange alert is sent to the user. The user will receive again another notification once the Herbarium admin updates the status of the Orange alert to Red or Green alert.