Start a project

Before you start a project it is important to understand:

  • TaxonWorks is open-source software that can be installed by anyone who wishes to.
  • There is no one central TaxonWorks installation.
  • One installation (sometimes referred to as "an instance") of TaxonWorks supports the creation of many projects.
  • Organizations or individuals who collaborate with you by sharing their installation of TaxonWorks are doing this on their own terms. These terms may vary.

Offline/local use

Is possible to use TaxonWorks locally, for example developers have active instances they work with.


  • Offline use beyond development and experimenting is not officially supported at the moment, however the core developers are open to discussing making this happen.
  • Offline TaxonWorks runs slower than online, however if you are serious about making it work the developers can work with you to tune your setup.
  • Besides the various means of import and export there are no direct synchronization methods from offline to online projects.


Some providers (see below) offer accounts in sandboxes. A sandbox is a temporary installation of TaxonWorks that can be used without fear of damaging "real" data. They are used to test functionality, practice making changes, preview large data imports, and assess whether necessary requirements are met. Each sandbox provider may have their own conditions as to how a sandbox should be used, be sure to understand the terms of use before using a sandbox account.

The Species File Group manages multiple sandboxes. Their terms of use are outlined hereopen in new window.


The following is a list of organizations or individuals with TaxonWorks installations. Starting a project here is a form of collaboration.

If you wish to be added to this list contact us or make a pull request.

ProviderContactShares sandbox?Accepting collaborators?
Species File Groupopen in new windowDeborah PaulYesYes

The Species File group has a document outlining how they collobarateopen in new window, its purpose is to get everyone on the same page as to what a TaxonWorks project in the instances they support means.


As more and more projects are created in TaxonWorks the scope of the taxa covered grows. If your projects overlap then we encourage you to find an existing project and join up, rather than work in parallel.


We encourage organizations or individuals with the resources to run their own instance of TaxonWorks. The core development team is mandated to facilitate this happening, and is committed to working with you to navigate the technical challenges to this. When individuals or organizations manage their own instance then this demonstrates to the broader community the growing role and importance of TaxonWorks. New instances help distribute valuable technical resources and underlying responsibility across our community.

From a technical perspective you can get started with install_taxonworks repositoryopen in new window.

From a social perspective we encourage you to reach out and discuss with us how to best setup a new production-ready instance.