How to Enter Observational Data
An observation according to Arctos part descriptions, “represents an occurrence record rather than a physical specimen”.
Observations can be separated into a new collection at your respective institutions or may be integrated into already existing collections based on taxon.
Examples of Observational collections:
However you choose to organize your observational data, an observation can be recorded as such in a new Specimen Event through the Specimen/Event and Parts sections in the Data Entry form.
In the Specimen/Event section, under Specimen/Event Type drop-down menu, choose “observation”.
If your institution has recordings or images that are the only records of a Specimen Event available, the part name can be entered as media (and the media attached).
If, however, there is no such media to attach, but the Specimen Event can be linked to other known database records such as GBIF or iNaturalist to confirm occurrence, the part name can be entered as “observation”. The current method of entry is as follows:
- Part name: observation
- Condition: unknown
- Part Disposition: observation
Another option to consider is Agent entry. “Collector” may be the appropriate term, however “maker”, or “copyright holder” may be more applicable for Specimen Events with attached media.