Hey Christy and all,
With TaxonWorks, we do both! We have both a verbatim collector field and
an attached person from our person table (shared across TW projects). This allows for considerable ambiguity and verbatim transcription, as well as one person going through all collectors later who is more familiar with the collection/people, and assigning all of them at once. Additionally, each person (any anything really) can have multiple “Alternate Values” as well as global (such as Wikidata or ORCID), and local identifiers.
Personally, one of my favorite things about TaxonWorks is how many “verbatim” data fields there are (“Buffered” or verbatim labels for both determination and collecting event, then verbatim parsed values for collecting events, then parsed values). Really helps when you are trying to figure out why exactly a given record was interpreted a certain way without having to go back to the specimen, which takes time and currently is impossible thanks to quarantine.
When you are databasing specimens, if the label has a collector's initials, or some other shortened version of their name, but you know who it is, do you transcribe into the database who you are 99% sure the collector is or do you faithfully record the label data exactly as is?
We are using Symbiota/SCAN and I don't see a field where it would be appropriate to make a notation that we made that assumption (like "verbatim collector data").
Is this just me? tbh, I'm finding it difficult to concentrate since this has all gone down!
Happy to get replies just to me so we don't clutter this list.
Invertebrate Collections Manager
Natural History Museum of Utah
301 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, Utah 84108