This is a draft document; recommendations have not been finalized.

Best Practice - Citation of Collection Objects with Data in Arctos

Unfortunately, there are no clear universal guidelines for citing collection objects and there are potential complications for all collection object identifiers. When providing guidance to users of collection objects the following should be considered in addition to the nature of the material (or data) being used, the nature of the work being done, and anything else which might effect how data and objects (or samples) are ultimately accessed, both digitally and physically.

It also may be useful to consider community terms. For biological collections, the Darwin Core exchange standard is useful and the record-level term bibliographicCitation.

A bibliographic reference for the resource as a statement indicating how this record should be cited (attributed) when used.

From Dublin Core, "Recommended practice is to include sufficient bibliographic detail to 
identify the resource as unambiguously as possible." The intended usage of this term in 
Darwin Core is to provide the preferred way to cite the resource itself -     "how to cite 
this record". 

Given that, what should an Arctos collection require of those who borrow and make use of collection objects or data in research and how can we get users to follow instructions?

This document will offer up recommendations for all collections with data in Arctos.

Choosing an Identifier

When choosing an identifier to be cited, the following should be considered:

With the above in mind, the Arctos Working Group recommends requesting citations in the form of the full Arctos catalog record or stable part identifier Uniform Resource Locator (URL), however, collections may choose other options and we have listed them roughly in order of preference below.

Full catalog record or stable part identifier URL or stable part identifier NEED EXAMPLE

The full catalog record URL or stable part URL represent web addresses on the Internet and so are Globally Unique Identifiers (GUID). This makes them the preferred method of citation for all catalog records, parts and occurences in Arctos. There are no extra identifiers to acquire, making this the easiest GUID to use and share for all Arctos catalog records and parts.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Locked Arctos Archives

DOI for Locked Arctos Archives

Unlocked Arctos Archives

“Darwin Core (DwC) Triplet” (UAM:Mamm:12)

For many years this has been the standard for citing collection objects. We recommend reading The trouble with triplets in biodiversity informatics: a data-driven case against current identifier practices.

Arctos Saved Searches


“Local” identifiers (“12”)

These include AF, NK, ALAAC, collector numbers, bare catalog numbers, or catalog number with nonstandard prefix (“Alaska 12”)

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