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  • A Virtual Museum on the State's Fish Biodiversity

    User-contributed Content

    We make these data freely available to researchers, natural resource managers, and the public in hopes that doing so will ultimately benefit both the fishes and the people of Texas. Now, after investing considerable effort ourselves in developing this database and the website that queries it, we hope to involve others in its continuing improvement. Call it "citizen science," or "crowd sourcing," but now anyone who registers in www.fishesoftexas.org can easily and quickly help improve it by commenting on any part of the content and contributing additional digital files (e.g. photographs). After vetting by qualified members of our team, contributed comments and documents become part of the project's permanent online digital library. We hope that this application of “citizen science” and “crowd sourcing” will allow this to become an active project with meaningful contributions by not only the continuing work of our original team, but also by incorporating the efforts of a much more diverse and active, distributed team of “citizen science” contributors. We hope that knowledgeable users of these data will use this site to help us achieve significant further detection of errors. To facilitate this we have included comment forms on most pages of the website that allow us to compile and display to all users, comments regarding the website and potential errors in the data. To facilitate user assessment, the website offers the verbatim donor data in a grayed box on the right side on each specimen page, allowing users to easily compare the original verbatim data to the edited version.

    In many cases specimens were deposited in museums without field notes or associated photographs. Now, collectors can log in to the website, find their records and upload their personal field notes and photographs of specimens and habitats taken at the time of collection (or taken at other times) and have them permanently associated with their previously curated specimen collections and maintained permanently in the Texas Natural History Collections digital library. We heartily encourage those collectors who historically contributed specimens to museums to now find their collection records here, and not only verify and comment on them to help us improve the database further, but also to take advantage of the power of this site to contribute their habitat photos taken at the time of collection, field notes (see, for example, our collection of scans of Dr. Clark Hubbs' field notes), etc.

    Note that tools for uploading field notes and locality images are not currently functional, and users are encouraged to send us those via e-mail or other means.

    All information contributed by the broad community of researchers and other site users greatly increases the value of this database, and all contributions will be permanently archived here for posterity. Users without contributed collections can also upload species-level photographs on our taxa pages. See the table below for details regarding user data and image submissions. All contributions will be vetted for accuracy by Fishes of Texas staff prior to being made available on the Fishes of Texas website. Users experiencing difficulties using our upload tools of any kind are encouraged to contact us with questions or send us data directly via e-mail.

    What files do you have? Do they relate specifically to occurrence records in our database? How many do you have? Go here to upload them Requested metadata Vetting and visibility
    Specimen images including photos, illustrations, x-rays, etc. yes one to several That specimen's page using the links provided there. Please provide as much detailed meta-data as possible using the fields provided. title: genus and species name; remarks: collection date, collector/s, and locality (if possible); credit: who made the image Files will be vetted by staff and made visible via appropriate specimen pages.
    many Our bulk upload tool located on our main query page. This tool is not able to capture metadata associated with user files so it is preferred that users upload using the single photo upload tools when possible. We may request specific metadata upon vetting, but users may also e-mail to us (unprompted) any critical metadata. Files will be vetted by staff and made visible via appropriate specimen pages.
    no any number Our taxa pages and contribute to our photo-vouchered database we are developing if sufficient metadata are also provided. Links to upload tools can be found on our taxa pages. title: genus and species name; remarks: collection date, collector/s, and locality (if possible); credit: who made the image Files will be vetted by staff and made visible via appropriate species account (taxon-level) pages. Images will also contribute to our developing photo-voucher database and potentially become occurrence records in the Fishes of Texas database.
    Habitat photos yes or no any number Our upload button is currently not functioning. Please send them to us via e-mail (see our contact page). Please send them with locality descriptions, image dates and name of the person who took the photos Images will be archived in our digital library for potential future use.
    Field notes yes or no any number Our upload button is currently not functioning. Please send them to us via e-mail (see our contact page). We may request specific metadata upon vetting, but users may also e-mail to us (unprompted) any metadata thought critical. Files will be vetted by staff and made visible via appropriate specimen pages.
    Occurrence data yes or no any number Please send them to us via e-mail (see our contact page). Please include a clear statement of your intent that they be included as part of our project so long as we credit you. Those records may be incorporated into our database if sufficient data fields (collection date, collector, genus and species, detailed locality descriptions, etc.) are provided. Files will be archived in our digital library for potential future use.
    Specimen videos yes or no any number Please send them to us via e-mail (see our contact page). Any relevant metadata. Please also include a clear statement of your intent that they be included as part of our project so long as we credit you. At this time our website does not support the uploading of video. Future improvements will address this.
    Other relevant files yes or no any number Please send them to us via e-mail (see our contact page). Any relevant metadata. Please also include a clear statement of your intent that they be included as part of our project so long as we credit you. Depending on what kinds of files they are we might be able to include them in the current version of our website or perhaps in future versions. Files will be archived in our digital library for potential future use.