Bird Curatorial Manual | Editing Cataloged Records

Organization of Specimens


Editing Taxonomy in Arctos

When a name becomes obsolete and a new name is added, Arctos has a function that allows the taxa to be linked together. That way a search will return specimens using either name. Additionally, sometimes there is disagreement between authorities on which name is most “valid”. In such a case, there may be multiple equally valid synonyms.
To link synonymous terms within Arctos:
    1. From the main Search drop-down menu, select Taxonomy.
    2. In the Taxon Name field, type in either the new or the obsolete name. For example, to link Hydrobates matsudairae and Oceanodroma matsudairae, either name can be selected to begin the linking process.
    3. Under Taxonomy Search Results you will see one or more names listed. Click Hydrobates matsudairae.
    4. Under Taxonomy Details for Hydrobates matsudairae are several links. Click [Edit Name + Related Data].
    5. From the drop-down menu under Relationship >> Add Relationship, select synonym of.
    6. In the Related Taxa field type in the synonymous term, then press the tab button.
    7. A pop-up window with valid Arctos selections will appear. Choose the appropriate term (Oceanodroma matsudairae) and click [ use ].
    8. In the Authority field, type in the name of the source authority for the synonymous use of these terms. In this example the source authority is Clements Checklist 2019. This field is optional but highly recommended.
    9. Click the Create button.
At this time, Arctos does not automatically create reciprocal links. Repeat steps 1 through 9 for taxa Oceanodroma matsudairae to create a reciprocal link to taxa Hydrobates matsudairae.

Specimens that are related can be connected together in Arctos with a Relationship hyperlink. Relationships may be genetic (e.g., siblings, parent and child) or spatial (e.g., bird skeleton A was retrieved from stomach of bird skin B).
Example: MVZ:Bird:10245, a study skin, is the parent of MVZ:Egg:2203, an egg specimen. The extra identifier (parent of) in the Relationships 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 identifier in the Relationships module. 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.