Museum of Southwestern Biology

Database Policy

Specimen-based databases are defined as catalog records (derived from museum specimen labels and field notes, etc.) in any form, including electronic databases, catalog card files, and images (e.g., photographic or digitized). 

The MSB may share (subject to database availability) its electronic institutional databases. Each division has policies that detail the availability of access, restrictions, transfer of data agreements, fees, and issues of data integrity. Users who fail to comply with MSB guidelines may be denied future access. Unusual cases or requests may require the approval of the Director. 

Data transfer or data-sharing agreements must precede the actual transfer of data, and should include a statement of the mission of each party. Collaborative research is reciprocal and requires no payment, however reasonable fees may be charged to users outside the systematics community, including for-profit institutions as described above. 

MSB desires to release only accurate data but users must be aware that specimen-based databases are continually being updated as species delineations and nomenclatural changes occur. Both specimen examination and verification of identification remain the responsibility of the primary researcher. MSB does not accept responsibility for the accuracy of data taken by the user. 

MSB may establish restrictions to certain data fields (e.g., localities of endangered species), or data involving current research by staff or students. In addition, the MSB requires the presence of a curator or collection manager when the collections database is being consulted.

MSB database records may not be released in whole to any individual without the expressed written consent of the Director and Curator. 

The user must acknowledge MSB as the source of specimen data, and must provide the MSB with a copy of any publications, research reports, or completed projects.