Digitization of vascular plant and bryophyte specimens from the Marie-Victorin Herbarium (MT, including WAT)
Originally, data were manually digitized as text from specimen labels, without photography. Currently, digitization still occurs as before for specific projects, but a new process based on specimen photography has been initiated, with the aim of increasing the pace of data capture. The process is: minimal digitization of specimen, photography (photos stored on photo server accessible via URL address), publication of minimally digitized data with photo. This will be followed eventually by full digitization either of targeted collections or via crowd sourcing (in development). All specimens newly acquired by MT and returned loans are digitized (when data are not provided by donor; MT encourages donors to provide digital data used to generate labels) and photographed.
Initially, legacy data had been formatted to fit the new database structure and cleaned as well as possible, though they still contain inconsistencies. They are being corrected both opportunistically and in a systematic manner for determinations and geography data. Inaccurate georeferenced data are currently being corrected. New records are entered using controlled vocabularies where relevant and should contain fewer errors. Data from donations are processed via a workbench and compared with the controlled vocabularies to ensure consistency. Specimens are validated by a taxonomist before databasing to ensure identification accuracy.
- Examine specimen and annotations labels. Verify and update determination if qualified.
Search specimen record in collection database and update where necessary, or create new record and populate fields with the information on the specimen label. Use controlled vocabularies where relevant.
Determinations are recorded in a related table (included in this dataset as http://rs.gbif.org/extension/dwc/identification.xml), as are related projects and specimen exchange history.
- Verify locality provided on specimen labels with online databases to ensure quality of geographic data.
Georeferences provided on labels are validated using online maps and GIS tools and corrected at need, with the addition of a measure of inaccuracy.
- Print the newly generated specimen number onto the physical specimen, to be used as reference to the datase and as accession number in the collection.
Specimen Preservation method