Project Documentation

Research projects regularly utilize objects from natural history collections that are not directly cited in refereed publications. These projects include theses and dissertations as well as other types within the gray literature. In most cases, there is no centralized source for collection usage for both refereed publications and the gray literature. As a result, the true usage and importance of the collection cannot be easily demonstrated to administrations, granting agencies, and the like. The purpose of this presentation is to show how a centralized source can be set up in Arctos.


Set up a project (Project A) to be the container for all printed works that document collection usage.

If a publication has only cataloged items formally cited, then the publication can be directly added to Project A.

Set up a project (Project B) for each printed work that utilized cataloged items that were not cited in the publication, even if a portion of the cataloged items were formally cited.

For a Project B publication, an in-house loan for catalog itemss that were utilized but not cited, is set up. The loan must be associated with Project B in the loan form. The publication (not the project) is then added to Project A.

  1. Repeat as necessary until all research projects utilizing cataloged items have been entered into Project A.


For refereed publications, the number of cited cataloged items is immediately available and the catalog record data can be accessed by clicking on the Cited Catalog Records link.

To access cataloged items utilized but not formally cited, click on the “Details” link for that publication. This will take you to a screen showing the contact information for associated projects, as well as publication data. Click on the publication project title link; this will take you to the detail page for the project, which displays the number of associated cataloged items from the in-house loan and links to those cataloged items.

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