Element Description: Institution Code
The code (or acronym) identifying the institution administering the collection in which the organism record is cataloged. No global registry exists for institutional codes; use the code that is "standard" at your institution or in your discipline.
See Open Discussion at: GBIF Circa Registries, etc.
Use the space below to make comments about this page. -- StephenLong
- 24 Aug 2006
Posted by: Steven Ginzbarg [mailto:email@example.com] Date: Wed, 06 Oct 2004, 06:00:00
InstitutionCode: "… No global registry exists for institutional codes; use the code that is 'standard' in your discipline."
- Disciplines may have a “standard” for natural history museum institution names, e.g. Field Museum of Natural History (FMNH). In most cases the institution will be the university where the collection is located. Disciplines will not have standards for university names.
- Change to: "… use the code that is 'standard' at your institution or in your discipline, e.g. if the University of Alabama email addresses end in “ua.edu”, they should use “UA” as the institution code; use FMNH for Field Museum of Natural History if this is the 'standard' in your discipline. (Mary Barkworth wanted to use their herbarium acronym as the institution code but learned that UTC was already being used by University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. She had to use USU-UTC (USU = Utah State University) as their institution code.)
CatalogNumber: "… It is highly recommended that each record is uniquely identified within a collection by this value. … Mixed collections unintentionally document the occurrence of more than one taxa."
- Our database at UNA allows recording that a sheet was determined as having two or more taxa present. In our DarwinCore? table this can result in there being more than one record of the most recent determination for a CatalogNumber.
- “cf.” doesn’t tell me which of the following is meant: cf. Quercus agrifolia var. oxyadenia; Quercus cf. agrifolia var. oxyadenia; Quercus agrifolia cf. var. oxyadenia.
- "variety in question" does tell me if it is Quercus agrifolia cf. var. oxyadenia or Quercus agrifolia aff. var. oxyadenia.
DecimalLatitude: "The latitude of the location from which the organism was collected, expressed in decimal degrees."
- COULD ADD: "...as a positive number (N of the equator) or a negative number (S of the equator)."
DecimalLongitude: "The longitude of the location from which the organism was collected, expressed in decimal degrees>"
- COULD ADD: "...as a positive number (E of Greenwich, England) or a negative number (W of Greenwich, England)."
- CHANGE “Use NULL” to “Leave blank”. (I made the mistake of putting the word “NULL” in the field.)
YearCollected, MonthCollected, DayCollected, and TimeCollected:
- OMIT “from the field”
Access point name changes: As a botanist I appreciate the change from Subspecies to InfraspecificEpithet. SpecificEpithet is more accurate than Species. With regard to other name changes, I say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If there were two access points CoordinateUncertaintyInMeters and CoordinateUncertaintyInFeet then it would be necessary to include the “InMeters” in the name. Since there is only one, saying “in meters” in the description is sufficient. I prefer the original CoordinatePrecision to CoordinateUncertainty. (Uncertainty implies the inverse of probability. If one is certain that the locality lies within the circle, the uncertainty would be 0.) The draft description for this access point is more explicit than the
current one in saying that the whole of the locality must fall within the described circle. I would prefer “falls” to “must fall”. When coordinates are determined from label data rather than by the collector, it is not always 100% certain that the locality is within the circle where we believe it to be.