Bird Curatorial Manual | Editing Cataloged Records

Editing Individual Records

Specimen records can be updated individually or in batch (next section) with the proper Arctos permissions. When editing individual records, search on the specimen and go to the record detail page. There will be a series of tabs with green text (which tabs you see depend on your permissions).

Click on the relevant tab for the data you want to change, and a new window will pop up. Enter or change the data as needed, then hit save. Note that for identifications, always add a new determination which will make the old one unaccepted. If you have questions about what to enter in specific fields, ask a Staff Curator.

Batch Updating Tools

Arctos has a number of tools for batch editing records. There are two ways to access these tools.

  1. Search for specimens you want to update. In the Specimen Results page, click on the “Manage…” dropdown menu and select the appropriate field that you want to update for a batch of records (e.g., identification, agents, accession, parts, collecting events, locality, encumbrances, etc.).  Follow the form to make the changes (don’t forget to save!).
  2. In Arctos, go to “Enter Data” and then “Batch Tools.” Select the appropriate tool for what you want to do. Download a template and follow the form instructions. 
More detailed documentation and “how-to” guides are provided in the Arctos Handbook . Also see “Updating Taxonomy in Arctos” under “Taxonomic Updates” for taxonomic and identification update guidelines. Contact a Staff Curator if you have any questions!

Linking Related Specimens

Specimens that are related can be connected together in Arctos with a Relationship hyperlink. Relationships may apply within as well as across collections, even collections in different institutions. Relationships may be genetic (e.g., siblings, parent and offspring), behavioral (e.g., predator-prey, host-parasite), or spatiotemporal (e.g., birds in a group, flock, or colony were collected together, but their genetic relationship is unknown). Follow these steps when linking any two specimens that share some kind of relationship (click here for the different types of relationships in Arctos).
Example: MVZ:Bird:10245 , a study skin, is the parent of MVZ:Egg:2203 , an egg specimen. The extra identifier (parent of) in the Relationship module alerts Arctos users to the fact that there is another specimen in the collection that is associated with MVZ:Bird:10245 (and vice versa).
To link the two catalog numbers to one another:
  1. Edit the parent record MVZ:Bird:10245 to create a link to child MVZ:Egg:2203. Along the top of the specimen record page for MVZ:Bird:10245 is a horizontal tab menu of editable attributes. Click Other IDs.
  2. In the Identifiers pop-up that appears, find the Add New Identifier drop-down menu and select MVZ:Egg.
  3. In the ID Number (int) field, type in the catalog number integer of the child specimen (2203).
  4. The second drop-down menu allows you to define the nature of the relationship. Select the appropriate relationship (in this example, parent of).
  5. Click the Insert button.
Reloading the MVZ:Bird:10245 record page will reveal a new active link to the egg specimen in the Relationships block of the record. Users may now click on the link to see the record page for MVZ:Egg:2203. However MVZ:Egg:2203 does not yet have a reciprocal link to MVZ:Bird:10245; currently, Arctos does not auto-generate reciprocal links. Repeat steps 1 through 5 for the MVZ:Egg:2203 record, this time using the integer for MVZ:Bird:10245 in step 3 (10245) and selecting the appropriate relationship from the drop down menu (offspring of).

Generally, when linking bird records to other bird records, MVZ:Bird is the appropriate Identifier to select from the drop down menu in Step 2. However, please note that the egg and nest collection has a separate Identifier within MVZ. When linking a parent to an egg record, the appropriate identifier would be MVZ:Egg.