Linking iNat records w/ museum specimens collected?

I’m a museum invert collection manager, planning to create a community science project building a reference spider collection. I’d like each participant to start with a iNat record of their spider, then submit the actual spider to the museum in alcohol so we can ID and database it (in SCAN).
Thoughts about not creating a duplicate record, re: iNat and SCAN/Symbiota and ways to link the observation with the catalogued specimens?


Not familiar with SCAN/Symbiota but have used other similar museum specimen databases. Since each iNat record has a unique number associated with it (in the URL for that record), that number could function as the “field catalog” number (or something analogous), referenced in the on-line catalog record for the preserved specimen. Also, the link to the on-line museum specimen record could be included in the Description of the iNat record.


This article on linking herbarium specimens to iNat records may be relevant.


There are a number of observation fields that people have created for specimen information.

Seems like the most generally useful among them might be
Voucher/Specimen UUID
Collected Specimen?

You could just standardize on one of these and go for it.


Oh fantastic! I did not know these extra fields existed! Very grateful and that’s exactly what we needed. Many thanks.

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The downside of Observation Fields is that they can be added/edited by literally anyone (unless the user chooses to opt out altogether). Tags may be preferrable for permanent external IDs, because they are read-only to all other users.


Excellent point, I agree!

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