This is topic 1.5. in the Uses section of the Advancing the Catalogue of the World’s Natural History Collections consultation. Use this topic to discuss the questions listed below.
Accurate information on any collection can be used as a reference or as linked data associated with specimen records and other data objects. Users of specimen records need contextual information about the collection that holds the specimen, for example to communicate with collection managers about individual specimens, to offer corrections to specimen data, or simply to determine whether the collection is likely to hold quantities of similar specimens. It may be inefficient to embed all of this information within the specimen record. Holding a single authoritative copy assists with keeping the collection information current. The collection record may also contain information on taxonomic or geographic scope or other aspects that can resolve potential ambiguities within a specimen record. Links to current collection records will also enhance taxonomic publications referencing their materials. This is particularly important because catalogue numbers and other specimen identifiers used in publications may not link to digitised information on the specimens. Linking to the collection simplifies future access and may enable digital links to be inferred in future.
The following contributed materials are particularly relevant to this topic:
- How could a comprehensive collections catalogue contribute to improvements to other categories of biodiversity data?
- What requirements would these improvements place on the catalogue?