How to Start as a New Collection in Arctos
If you are joining Arctos, welcome!
Now that you’ve decided to join Arctos, there are a few steps before you can actually do anything in Arctos.
All of this assumes that you have already completed the Prospective Collection Form, been in contact with Arctos about joining, and have a signed Memorandum of Understanding between your institution and Arctos.
Adding Your Institution and Collection(s) to Arctos
Once you are ready to migrate your data to Arctos, we will help with the process. The first step is to create the new collection in the database, which involves filling out a web form that we will use to add the following information about the collection into Arctos. The same information will be used to create metadata for publishing the collection’s data to VertNet, Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio), and other external portals.
Required fields are in bold:
- Institution Name: The name of the institution along with its acronym. Copy the format in the “Collection” dropdown list on the Arctos Specimen Search page.
Example: University of Alaska Museum (UAM)
- Institution Acronym: This standardized acronym. See also Best Practices - Creating a Meaningful GUI Prefix
- Collection Name: This is a standardized short description of the collection type – Standardized across Arctos Institutions. For new collection types, copy the format of the “outgroup” values in the “pick collection” list on SpecimenSearch.
Example: Mammal Specimens
- Collection Code: Pick one for each collection from the Arctos Collection Code Table.
Collection Description: A description for the collection that provides information on the size and scope of the collection, as well as any special holdings. Keep it under 4,000 characters.
Contact Name for Collection Data: The primary person responsible for managing the data for this collection. If there is more than one contact, you will need to add any additional people under the Manage Collection function once the collection is created in Arctos.
Contact Email for Collection Data: A valid email address for the primary contact for collection data.
Contact Name for Collection Loans: The primary person responsible for managing loans for this collection. If there is more than one contact, you will need to add any additional people under the Manage Collection function once the collection is created in Arctos.
Contact Email for Collection Data: A valid email address for the primary contact for collection loans.
Web Link: A http(s) link to the main collection web page.
Web Link Text: Text you want displayed for the link, e.g. “Museum of Natural History Website”
After your collections are added to Arctos, you will need to add metadata about each collection in Arctos. Follow the instructions on How to Manage a Collection in Arctos.
Joining the Actos community listserv
Arctos uses Google Groups to manage its email lists. Anyone who is a collection contact (data, loan, etc.) or a regular Arctos user should join the main Arctos Google Group by clicking “Ask to join group.” In the dialog box that appears make sure to edit your display name so that it’s your actual name, and check that you would like to receive email updates, as shown in the screenshot below.
If you go to the Google Groups site above and do not see the “Ask to join group” button it means one of two things:
- You are already a member of the group but may not be receiving emails. To fix this, go to the upper right corner of the browser window where you will see “My Settings,” and under that is “Membership and email settings.” Edit your email preferences (and display name if it’s not your real name).
- You are not logged into your browser with a Google account. For better or worse Google Groups requires a Google account to use. If you already have a Google account you can sign in by clicking the blue “Sign in” button in the upper right corner of the browser. If you do not have a Google account you can make one with any email, even an institutional email, and benefit from functions like Google Drive and Google Groups without using Gmail.
If you have any trouble signing up for the Arctos community listserv, please contact the Arctos Working Group by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for help, as it is important for you to be part of this communication channel.
Joining the Actos GitHub platform
Arctos uses GitHub Issues to communicate development. Everyone with an interest in Arctos data should minimally monitor Issues in the Arctos repository. Instructions are https://doi.org/10.7299/X75B02M5.