All of the projects we have that require permits or reports are in specific areas.  So in SCAN (Symbiota) it is easy to draw a polygon and request all the records, records with associated images, and a species list.  You can also provide a checklist of all species collected by anyone, not just the project.  You can also create an online checklist, the plant people do this a lot.  We use “other catalog number field.


It probably would be good to have an accession (i.e, permit) module.  Right now we just use “other catalog number” for that purpose and like Arctos I do not believe Symbiota gives a list of just updated records.



From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Derek Sikes
Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2016 2:27 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Automating Collecting Reports



In Arctos one can create 'Projects' that can tie together specimens and from which one can easily find all specimen records. For example:

What remains difficult is flagging of changes between one download of the data and another. There is nothing built into Arctos to do this. I've never had an agency complain - they're happy to take the latest & greatest data as a whole, replacing their prior report, rather than demand only data that has changed between two reports.

Also, I think agencies should take on the burden of data reformatting to get our data into their system, if they so desire, rather than expect us to do this for them.




On Thu, Jan 14, 2016 at 11:47 AM, Peter T Oboyski <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


I would like to begin a discussion that (hopefully/probably) will bleed over to other list serves. So feel free to broaden the discussion.

ISSUE: Most collecting permits require a report, either at the end of each year or the end of the project, summarizing specimens collected (species names, numbers, localities, etc.). For arthropods, it often takes several years before all the specimens are prepared and identified (especially the by-catch). Ideally, new identifications (and other curation updates) are included in each year's summary report. It is a lot to keep track of and most of us probably don't do a great job (with taxa other than our main target taxon).

SOLUTION: Most large, institutional collections have specimen databases. It will be decades before all of our legacy specimens are captured in online, open-access databases. But new material can (and should) be captured before it even enters the collection. In theory, year-end reports can be produced by a single click of a mouse. The resulting report will include, updated identifications, numbers of specimens, georeferenced localities, loans, etc. I think many of you are already doing this, but with several clicks of the mouse (ie. query relevant data, download, sort, edit, reformat, annotate, print, ...). But if each specimen (or collecting event, lot, ...) is tagged with the permit number, a completely automated annual report should be simple to achieve.

BUY IN: At the simplest level, we each can have our own Report Generator script. However, it would be great to get buy in from various agencies (local, state, federal agencies, conservation trusts, etc.). If we can all agree on the basic information that needs to be reported and a common format, then we would not have to write several personalized scripts and/or do a lot of back-end editing. I can foresee this as a module added to Specify, Arctos, Symbiota, and others (maybe some already have this option?). It would also help museum managers to get associated researchers to better curate their data before depositing specimens (yes, I have ulterior motives).




Peter T Oboyski, PhD
Collections Manager & Curatorial Supervisor
Essig Museum of Entomology
1170 Valley Life Science Building
University of California, Berkeley

mailing address:
1101 VLSB, #4780
Berkeley, CA 94720

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510.643.0804 (office phone)
510.847.0360 (cell phone)


Derek S. Sikes, Curator of Insects
Associate Professor of Entomology
University of Alaska Museum
907 Yukon Drive
Fairbanks, AK   99775-6960

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phone: 907-474-6278
FAX: 907-474-5469

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