Encumbrances restrict the use of specimens or specimen data. Encumbrances are applied to Cataloged Items. Attributes of an encumbrance include an encumbrancer, a name for the encumbrance, an expiration date and/or event, and an encumbering action.
Encumbrances should be used to:
- Mark erroneous records for deletion. (Records for which a specimen no longer exists should NOT be deleted, but should rather have disposition updated.)
- Restrict usage of specimens conditionally placed in public collections. These records should remain publicly visible – do not “mask record.”
- Restrict coordinate data for specimens from sensitive collecting events under agreement with landowners. Removing coordinate data removes much of the “discoverability” of specimens, and will exclude those specimens from many searches. Use this encumbrance with great caution.
Encumbrances should NOT be used to:
- Mask the record of specimens under active research. “Restrict usage” is sufficient to protect any existing interests in the specimen, and the specimen remains available, upon approval of the encumberer, for other non-conflicting research. This guideline is often severely abused.
- Mask illegal activity, including a lack of permits.
- Randomly mask “sensitive” records which aren’t, such as those records on CITES lists or records which have been tested for disease.
- Mask truly sensitive data. While we strive to effectively implement Encumbrances, Arctos has no security staff and should not be considered a secure system. Don’t use Encumbrances to protect your credit card information.
Encumbrances are often used to block arbitrary information such as collectors, preparators, field numbers, attributes, and remarks. A list of active Arctos encumbrances is available.
The Encumbrancer (encumbering agent) is the person or organization requiring the restriction. This agent may act in an advisory role; final authority to remove encumbrances rests with the collection.
Encumbrance Name: Encumbrances are described with a name. This name should be as general as possible with the aim of avoiding separate encumbrances when the encumbrancer and the encumbering action are the same. (If possible, additional specimens should be added to existing encumbrances.) Do not just copypasta the encumbrance action here. Really. Don’t.
Expiration Date: All encumbrances should be temporary, and encumbrances must be periodically reviewed. De-accession should be considered for permanently-encumbered specimens.Yearly email notifications are provided to collection staff, and encumbrances may be extended (in 5-year increments) indefinitely. Expiration date is a triggering event – encumbrances are automatically retracted when expiration_date is reached.
- Find the specimens from which you wish to remove an encumbrance SpecimenSearch.
- From the Manage tool, choose Encumbrances and click Go. You should now see a summary of your specimens at the bottom of the page, and the encumbrance finder at the top.
- Find the appropriate encumbrance by entering search criteria and clicking Find Encumbrance.
Under the appropriate encumbrance, click the “Remove Listed Items From This Encumbrance” button.
When the screen refreshes, the specimens are no longer in the selected encumbrance.
There are many ways to encumber specimens; here one is described.
- Create an Encumbrance (ManageData/Metadata) if an appropriate one does not exist.
- Find the specimens you want to encumber using SpecimenSearch.
- From the Manage tool, choose Encumbrances.
- You should now see a summary of your specimens at the bottom of the page, and the encumbrance finder at the top.
- Find the appropriate encumbrance by entering search criteria and clicking Find Encumbrance. You’ll get a list of encumbrances (and specimens below).
- Under the appropriate encumbrance, click the Add All Items To This Encumbrance button.
- When the screen refreshes, the specimens are encumbered. Double-check that no extraneous specimens have been encumbered. Use the “Return to Encumbrance” link
to perform additional actions, such as deleting the encumbered specimens.