Research projects regularly utilize specimens 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 specimens formally cited, then the publication can be directly added to Project A.

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

For a Project B publication, an in-house loan for specimens 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 specimens have been entered into Project A.


For refereed publications, the number of cited specimens is immediately available and the specimen data can be accessed by clicking on the Cited Specimens link.

To access specimens 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 specimens from the in-house loan and links to those specimens.