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New BSBI Data Entry Guidance

New BSBI Data Entry Guidance

by jimmcintosh » Fri May 02, 2014 11:35 am

We have just published new draft BSBI Guidance on Data Entry and hope that recorders will find it useful. It was originally drafted with MapMate in mind but the same principles apply to any electronic data recording system.

One of the most important points is that (in general) higher resolution grid references should NOT be included in the Comments fields - otherwise you (and ultimately DDB users) will lose the ability to map and analyse at that higher resolution. Grid refs should go in the grid ref field*!

We would welcome your comments and feedback on the draft document.

Jim McIntosh
BSBI Scottish Officer

*Site field in MapMate

Attachment removed - see updated version in following post.
Last edited by jimmcintosh on Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New BSBI Data Entry Guidance

by jimmcintosh » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:46 am

After the recent Scottish Recorders' Conference in March 2015 where we had a session on the Data Entry, we have updated the BSBI Data Entry Guidance document. Some minor but important and possibly very useful changes.

This is essential reading for all recorders - but particularly those just beginning to digitise their own records. Take a look!

It is entitled "Draft" because we would really welcome your comments and corrections.

Best Wishes,
Jim
BSBI Scottish Officer
Attachments
BSBI Draft Data Entry Guidance Mar 2015v2.pdf
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Re: New BSBI Data Entry Guidance

by berwicks » Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:49 pm

Detail of recorders in MapMate
I like to use the comment field. I use it for the Christian name, with just the initials after the surname in the name field. Also for relevant brief biographical details, such as 'SWT staff', 'SNH contractor', 'floreat 1880-1905'. As far as I know no use is made of this data when records are synched to the hub, which is a pity

Michael Braithwaite, 7 June 2016
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Re: New BSBI Data Entry Guidance

by admin » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:10 pm

Michael,

Finding the optimal way to use MapMate party records is problematic because mapmate's database structure doesn't fit closely with the DDb's.

The problem is many (>20%) of mapmate party entries refer to more than one person - which breaks the one-to-one relationship between mapmate and DDb database entries. That said, for the majority of records, where a mapmate party is used to cite only a single individual or organisation then the information from the notes field could be valuable and worth trying to assimilate.

I originally tried to maintain the link closely (in which case the mapmate notes would have stayed connected) but the vast proliferation of duplicate entries forced me to change the design. Technical improvements since then may allow me to review the treatment of MapMate notes. Behind the scenes, the mapmate note fields are stored in the DDb and potentially could be re-incorporated.

Although not a solution for the wider (and useful) metadata that you mention I would definitely encourage people to include full names rather than initials in MapMate records - contrary to earlier guidelines from BSBI and BRC.

Thanks for raising this issue - it is worth reconsidering the current the situation.

Tom
Tom Humphrey
Database Officer, Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI)
c/o Centre for Ecology and Hydrology,Maclean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BB, UK.
tom.humphrey@bsbi.org
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Re: New BSBI Data Entry Guidance

by jimmcintosh » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:35 pm

Hi,

Here is an amended and updated version of the BSBI Data Entry Guidelines. It addresses the issues raised in the previous posts in this thread about recorder names.

As always feedback warmly welcomed!

Best Wishes,
Jim

BSBI Draft Data Entry Guidance Feb 2017.pdf
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Re: New BSBI Data Entry Guidance

by jimmcintosh » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:31 pm

BSBI Draft Data Entry Guidance Mar 2017.pdf
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Hi everyone!

Here is an amended version after feedback on Recorder names and updating the bullets on Status. Take a look!

Best Wishes,
Jim
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Re: New BSBI Data Entry Guidance

by jimmcintosh » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:51 pm

Hi everyone!

We have just updated the section in BSBI Data Entry Guidance on Recorders. Take a look
BSBI Draft Data Entry Guidance Dec 2017.pdf
(251.64 KiB) Downloaded 12 times


(This supercedes all previous Data Entry Guidance.)

Best Wishes,
Jim
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Re: New BSBI Data Entry Guidance

by geoff toone » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:35 pm

At the risk of an accusation of pedantry, here goes...

Sites
"But remember that site names are really only a check that the grid ref is correct – they should be simple and not precise address-like descriptions. Best use the closest and most relevant name on a 1:50,000 (or better) map."

Why should they not be "address-like descriptions"? The naming conventions for sites are no longer subject to cost-motivated ellipsis (like 19thC Floras), their only constraint is the text field limit of 64 characters. The nature of alphanumeric sorting of lists is key to the grouping of sites within locations, locations within areas and areas within regions. Grid references, because they use an arbitrary orthogonal grid, can give us only part of the information about a site. Witness the many past records which are tetrad-only, with completely inadequate site naming, particularly of rare and scarce spp, when even then better could have been achieved. To know from a site name where exactly something was (to refind and update a record, for instance) more is needed than, say, simply a town or farm name :-

Rookley, Cridmore Farm, Milkpan Fld, NE margin,
Rookley, Cridmore Farm, North Appleford Fld, S margin,
Rookley, Cridmore Farm, Peters Fld, NE-most Fld corner,
Rookley, Cridmore Farm, Pigstye Ground, SW corner

with an alphanumeric sort these sites within individual fields are extremely informative, compared with the recommended terse 'Rookley' or 'Cridmore Farm' (which, incidentally, covers about two square kilometres). The key feature here is the progress from general to particular, the reverse of how one would address a letter.

"Always begin with the site name, followed by any simple proximity descriptors, using consistent formats. Then put other location information in Comments field. For example, if you had noted “Rocks near shore, S of Kilmarie” on your recording card, you could enter “Kilmarie, S of” as the Site Name, and put “Rocks nr shore” in the Comments."

and what is wrong with "Kilmarie, S of, rocks nr shore", or indeed "London SE11, Kennington, Brook Drive, NE side, kerb"?
The attempt to separate Locations and Habitats is unhelpful in this context. The Comments field in MapMate is an unsearchable bin of items for which no dedicated field is available (nature of Quantity count [!e, !n], photos [!p], voucher retained [!v]) and dumping "Rocks nr shore" into Comment or putting it only in Site>Habitat loses what is essentially physical location detail. A habitat can also be a location.

"Although duplicate sites are not a serious problem as there is no limit to the number of sites you can create in MapMate, they are best avoided for tidiness. You should minimise the number of duplicate sites by checking to see if the site already exists. Enter its grid ref into the Site field, enter and use any suitable (pre-existing) site listed."

The danger here is that sites entered by other users might be edited after they have been used independently, altering the definition misleadingly. I recently noticed a mistaken monad grid reference with a correct site name for a number of my records; the grid ref has been altered but anyone who has used it in the meanwhile (rather than create their own site) might have their records displaced by one Km from where was intended. By all means try to harmonise naming conventions with others but beware of using sites owned by others.

Recorders
"When entering new recorders' details in MapMate, enter location “unknown” and no comment."

Historical record entry is, perhaps, the one exception to this rule. For notable recorders of the past a note of their normal residence (a monad perhaps), together with the period of that residence can be useful. Botanist mapping can be related closely to coverage, particularly of specialist species' groups.
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