Arctos strives for ‘gold standard’ records that track usage of specimens through research activities. For example, Arctos links specimen records to the projects that use them and to the publications that cite them. Arctos also creates reciprocal links between specimen data and external database resources such as GenBank. Proper linkage allows tracking of all research and derived material and data (e.g., genetic sequences) back to the original voucher specimen. Because DNA sequences deposited in GenBank may be used in many different projects, a single specimen can serve as a voucher for multiple independent scientific studies.
In addition to linking specimen records to projects and publications, Arctos also links specimens and observations to archival materials that provide historical context (e.g., fieldnotes, images, correspondence, annotated maps of collecting sites). Furthermore, Arctos is rich in media and allows for relationships between media (e.g., photos take at same site but different times) or between media and other data including specimens, people, and collecting events.
The ability to create relationships between records in Arctos, both within and across collections, and between Arctos and external data, is one of its greatest strengths.
See some of our favorite examples of “Gold Standard Records” in Arctos. Click on any specimen record below to see how a specimen can be connected to publications, GenBank, media and more: