How can I submit information to those verifying about expertise levels

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Mya-Rose Birdgi...
How can I submit information to those verifying about expertise levels

I have noticed that verification can take some time. To save time, can I submit information to those verifying records about the level of expertise of each person making identifications? For our garden bio blitz, we worked with a team of experts in different fields. I have listed the name of the each person making the identification in the comment section however where can I explain that they are an expert? For example, all the lichen identifications were made by Dr David Hill, a top lichen expert and President of the British Lichen Society. It will obviously save time in verifying records with this information.

hi We have plans to extend


We have plans to extend the user profile in iRecord to allow information about expertise to be provided.  This should be available sometime this summer.

We are also keen to extend the list of verifiers willing to review data within iRecord.  We would be very happy to talk to your experts to discuss how they can become involved as verifiers (i.e. David).

But all verifiers take on the role as volunteers so they vary greatly in the amount of time they can give to reviewing data.  Nevertheless, iRecord can act as a personal store of your sightings, ready to be reviewed as expert have the capacity.

all the best


Mya-Rose Birdgi...
Details of experts identifiying species

OK, will speak to some the experts who helped on my bioblitz, to see if they will give some time on I-record.

John H Bratton

The name of the person doing the identification should go in the "Identified by" box. And for names like David Hill which, no offence, is a rather common name, you could add "Lichen Society President" so that the verifier knows it is that David Hill.


What a load of rubish. I have followed the criteria you, (John H Bratton), have laid out to the letter. Identifiers well known for thier expertese by the iRecord people, as in Dr Tristan Bantock, Dr Alan Stewart and Charlie Barnes coleoptera recordered for VC53/54, to mention a few, have been added to the 'Identified by' box when appropriate, and also extra data aluding to how the ID was determined mentioned in the, 'Comment box', all to no avail. I have even added the names of experts who are authorities in thier chosen fields, an example would be Dr Alan Stewart an authority on, and national recorder for Auchenorrhyncha, again to no avail. The problem ls with an out of date app, namely the NBN record cleaner which gets to scrutinise all records as they are upoaded, and for it to work acurately it should be updated daily if and when required with respect to the following:
1. National recorders, County recorders, known recorders, re the latter, all scientists who are known to record/work/study in whatever field of nature is applicable to each.
2. 'Out of range of known coordinates' should be changed to 'New coordinates will be added to the NBN record cleaner after verification'.
3. Nomenclature changes re binominal, trinomial species names updated when known.
4.Date outside known seasonal limit for 'species name', should be changed to, 'Phenology data base will be updated when species is verified'. Unless of course ID was determined in the field by a known recorder, or covered by articles under part 8 when it will then be automatically verified.
5. If no image is uploaded then add comment: A good photo or identification keys must accompany each record. Only applicable to known recorders if species is on the endangered list or known to be rare, or scarce.
6. A photo in which the subject can be identified by all and sundry should be automatically verified and added to the NBN Gateway, add the comment, 'Auttomactically verified'
7. New to the UK species must be supported by a determination by a known recorder named in the 'Identified by' box, and if not known should be supported by relavant details aluding to their expertese. Add comment: Verified, but not on British list, more records required before being reonigised as naturalised.
8. Method of determination could be added as a new field, the options being:
a. Examined:
a1. In the field by the named expert. Automatic verification. Add comment: Verified
a2. Collected and sent to named expert. Automatic verification. Add comment: Verified
a3. In the field by named recorder via:
a3a. Relavant book. Comment added: Awaiting review
a3b. Relavant webb site. Comment added: Awaiting review
a3c. iRecord webb site by comparison with verified uploads.  Automatic verification. Add comment: Verified.
a3d. Recorders own expertese. Comment added: Awaiting review.

If accepted and utilised it could help to ease the workload for the verifers and if correcly implemented, and follwed up by the more diligent, and empathetic iRecord  admin people,  reduce the backload of unverified uploads. It would also, I'm sure, reduce the anomosity between experienced recorders and iRcord admin.

With good intent and respect,


Matt Smith
As has been noted, some of

As has been noted, some of the names of "expert verifiers" are fairly widely used names, so it would add an addtional layer of complexity to iRecord to have to maintain a searchable list of "experts" that could be dropped into records.  As someone who verifies records, I would not want to see "automatic verification" (ie the record does not get any scrutiny by the verifiers once submitted) of any records based purely on the fact that a particular name is entered in "field X" - that record needs to be seen by myself or my collegues before being accepted.  How do you suggest that a photo "that can be identified by all and sundry" be checked in the first place?  If we go down the route of "automatic verification" then we may as well just accept any record as verified as long as the fields are filled in "correctly", which rather negates the whole idea of why records are verified in the first place. 

As has been said many times before, the comments generated by Record Cleaner have no bearing on whether a record gets verified and are, for the most part, ignored by those verifing a records.  If your records are not being verified then that is probably due to a lack of volunteer verifiers for that group / area / project.  As for the "Method of determination", to me these addtional details you suggest would be an addtional layer of complication to consider and would not speed up verification or reduce the backlog of unverified records.   The bottleneck is lack of verifiers.

NBN Record Cleaner needs a Clean UP


As you say, we've been down this same road so many times, yet you still don't understand.  The NBN Record Cleaner is, as it is, an affront to all biological recorders. along with all its negativity it also harbours incorrect data re its phenology data base.  There are prbably several cases of, Date outside known seasonal limit for "species",  I have had that cleaner comment added to severral of my records, the most recent follows:

My iRecord record numbers for Capsus ater,



All with Date out of known seasonal limit for Capsus ater.

Adult: June-September, Dr Bantock T., Dr Botting J, et al 2013, in fact this link its the page on their British Bugs site, which, no I don't want to spoil it for you, go check it out.

Myself, on checking the NBN interactive map, found 47  for June and 1 for May and 1 for December, from 2002 to 2011 and that was just out of the 82 records for Lincolnshire.
You don't need to explain it, its obvious, the cleaner is out of date. 

As for the complexity issues you mention, what are you talking about? If more thought had been put into the cleaner along the lines I mention above, there wouldn't be such a huge backlog of unverified records  and probably no uphappy recorders. As for complexities, iRecord should have none, the ones that do exist aply to the recorders in as much as getting/finding a record and then establishing an ID.  

Here's another one for you Matt, The Garden BioBlitz, it puts up 20 images of common species that just require a tick in the box to record your record, why then do they need a volunteer to verify them for surely they were pre-verifed, I mean, how could they put up images that hadn't been, very strange?


my issue is with records that

my issue is with records that dont have a national verifier  - this seems to be lacking in flora  stuff................mmmhh?

I must admit that I agree

I must admit that I agree with Mick Tabot - the Record Cleaner is VERY much out of date in terms of its rules regardingoutside seasonal limits and also in terms of known distributions.  For me this has been particularly highlighted with negative notes regarding species such as Lasius niger which it reckons is not in the Cheshire or Merseyside areas - utter nonsense - how can the database used to build the rules be so far out and incorrect ??  I have had similar experiences with other species from different orders and families.

I find the negative comments VERY disturbing, and like Mick feel strongly that they put off a lot of recorders (even myself to an extent and I am an obsessive recorder) - if these commetns are ignored by most of the verifiers as has been suggested then what is the purpose of having them in the first place ???

Are the dates/seasons and locations/grid refs of species which are verified ever applied to the rulers of the Cleaner to ensure that it is kept up to date ??  How are the Cleaner's rules database(s) kept up to date and by whom ??

The rulesets used within

The rulesets used within iRecord were created by national recording schemes via funding from the NBN -  There is currently no mechanism/funding for maintaining them as new information becomes available.  I agree that this will become an increasing problem as the rulesets become out-of-date given the dynamic nature of species distribution.  Unfortunately, we do not currently have funds to implement improvements to address this within iRecord, although we do have ideas about what could be done.

I would be interested to hear wider views from iRecord users on the value/importance placed on the automatic rulechecks.  From email exchange via the iRecord email address, I am aware of instances where the rulesets have picked up data entry errors (which anyone can make).  Similarly, some verifiers do use the rulesets to prioritise records for review, to pick up potential errors or to identify new locations.

On balance, therefore, we will retain the current use of the NBN Record Cleaner rulesets for the time being.

thanks, David

NBN Record Cleaner

The way I tend to view NBN messages when I receive one and am certain my record is correct is that it may be a sign that something hasn't been recorded a lot in the area which could make any record that extra bit important.  If some people find receiving these messages off-putting like has been suggested then maybe they could be given an option to opt out receiving them.

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