Communication of research information to biological consultants, government agency planners, conservation biologists, academic researchers, private land owners, and the general public has become a major goal of both the research community and granting agencies. The internet has become the method of choice for this distribution of scientific data. The data can be rapidly transported, displayed or visualized with graphical content, can be made selectively available with different levels of access to the public or to research colleagues and can even be rendered downloadable. The data range from systematic studies of plants and fungi, to floristic studies, to synoptic keys. Working with academic and government researchers we have developed Web deliverable query pages against robust high-performance database management systems. The pages are interactive, attractive, and easy to use by scientists and the general public; yet, can perform complex queries involving, in some cases, many tables of data. We will explore in this paper the results of studies with users of disparate skill levels e.g. scientists within a discipline and the general public, including secondary school students. We will detail the success we have had teaching students and faculty in the biological sciences, to build and maintain their own sites without learning arcane programming or database languages. We will also provide suggestions, guidelines and pitfalls to consider in the early planning of your database design to insure ease and efficiency of data retrieval. And finally we will discuss issues of security and sensitivity of data that must be addressed when making your data available to the public.

Key words: constructing biological databases, database, internet, teaching tools, web, WWW