14 March 2011

Considering Specimen Collection of Ohio State University

The OSU Collection (a.k.a. Museum of Biodiversity) has - based on a review of pre-1886 records - has a great number of significant specimens noted in their database. Editing considerations can obviously be considered, though the most important aspect is the unique records.

In a review of some records, these comments are provided. With some nearly trivial edits, the quality of the data can be readily improved.

¶ 425316 - delete period in CollectionLocality
¶ 237347 - Fort Bayan may actually refer to Fort Bayard
¶ 206301 - Menodine may be Mendocino
¶ 133490 - Sacromento should be spelled Sacramento
¶ VerbatimCollectionDate: in some instances the month is given first, in others the date is first. I'd suggest a standard presentation.
¶ In the collection locality field, you sometimes have notes or comments. I'd suggest that this field might have the best determination of the specific locality, and an additional field be used to denote comments. (i.e., 7 mi. W of Columbus should be Columbus, Ohio with an additional notation that it was from seven miles west.)
¶ 7154 - Columbus, Licking Res. = might be Licking Reservoir to match with other specimens from this locale; i.e., 12374 - which lists Licking Reservoir as locality; and which - by the way - the latter specimens conforms with other Wheaton specimens based on locale and time; the notes field would readily allow inclusion of relative comments
¶ same for E. I Shores, where adding a period would make names match other entries; and where E. I. Shores (which have an extra space after the I.)
¶ 74481 - more likely E.I. Shores than E.I. Shares; several specimens have E. J. Shores which is also likely E.I. Shores
¶ 375766 - Elliiot Coues is Elliott
¶ 7690 - Sacromento more likely Sacramento
¶ 245129 - A.P. Morse = A. P. Morse (add space for consistency purposes; when doing online searches, little differences like this can make a difference)
¶ 260925 - might by Chas. A. Marsh to match name given for collector for other specimens
¶ 375723 - F.V. Haydon is F.V. Hayden
¶ 198721 - G. H. Raysdale should be Ragsdale
¶ 425448 - J M Wheaton to J.M. Wheaton

In working with the database records, I often do various sorts to evaluate records information, and make minor edits to improve data consistency.

¶ L M McCormick - adding a period after the initials would make these records match the name given for other specimens
¶ 405771 and 245320 - L. M. McCormimck should perhaps be L.M. McCormick
¶ 9299 - L.M.McCormick - adding a space after the initials would make this name match other entries
¶ 67151 and 74761 - Theodore Jasper could be the same at Theo Jasper
¶ 245327 - W, F. Henninger could use a period after the W. rather than the comma
¶ 40727 - W. Brester seems as if it should be Brewster
¶ 40740 - Wheaton Brewster - seems to have combined Wheaton and Brewster, and might need to be checked
¶ 133154 - C. Drexer should be corrected to Drexler; the published records do not indicate this species as having been collected at Fort Bridger
¶ 63091 - collected by Dr. A. Scho should be Dr. A. Schott
¶ The 1809 American tree sparrow record is unique in that among the 130,000 records evaluated, there are no others for this year
¶ 237207 - C. .E. Aiken has an unnecessary period
¶ 216084 - E. J. Shores seems to rather be E.I. Shores
¶ Barred owl = Barred Owl; with the other records well done in using the "accepted" common name currently being used; though the common snipe is now Wilson's Snipe
¶ Using the "accepted" common names is very difficult as they are consistently changing and takes a lot to follow what others deem to be proper
¶ 63359 and 63361 have the same date of record, but in the verbatimcollection field, the information is given in two manners
¶ 117991 - likely collected by S.F. Baird, as there are numerous other specimens from this location during this period of time
¶ 63091 and 313735and 313737 = please match the locality designations (i.e., Merida, Yucatan)
¶ 67232 - locality typo (not Delvil's Lake = Devil's Lake); state should probably be North Dakota, as there is no state of Dakota
¶ 294597 - in 1870 other Greene Smith specimens are from Cook County, Illinois
¶ 16762 - please spell out Long Island to match other entries
¶ 182530 - in the verbatimdatecollected field there is a period after Dec.; some other entries do not include this punctuation
¶ 199017 et al. - Greene Smith had collected several other specimens at Gainesville in 1878 as well as 1879 at the same locality
¶ 40624 - British Amer. Labrador has a province of Newfoundland; is it Labrador or Newfoundland?
¶ 110273 - E. J. Shores might be E.I. Shores given with other records
¶ 218468 - Columbus, O = possibly denote Columbus, and let the state designation attribute it to Ohio since other records do not include the O
¶ 324427 - E.I. Shores or E. I. Shore; please be consistent for all records; include the space for all or none
¶ Is there somewhere within your database where the county is given for the designated localities?
¶ 110233 and 406022 and 293707 and 245082 - in VerbatimCollectedField; = 02 May or 2 May; consistency is key
¶ 294220 and 294219 = Red River Bluff; CollectionLocality, one with a period and the other with no period
¶ 14908 and 9123 - Licking Co. Reservoir; 7357, Licking Reservoir Buckeye Lake; whereas others noted for Licking Reservoir; a problematic discrepancy
¶ 405771 - plus other specimens from District of Columbia designate CollectionLocality as Washington; this should be changed to not refer to Washington state, but rather to the District of Columbia
¶ 260967 - Collection locality W. Bridgewater whereas other denoted with West Bridgewater
¶ 198635 - CollectionLocality = Silver City, Lane Mt. in Arizona; 268284 and 260925 - CollectionLocality = Silver City, Lone Mt. in New Mexico; there could be improvements in the way the collectors name has been entered. Is it Lone or Lane Mountain? And Arizona was once part of New Mexico before their separation so it the site is the same, the state should match.

These are mostly minor changes, but once done, would improve the quality of the database information, and improve the results of searching based upon particular criteria.