Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

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soulsurvivor
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Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by soulsurvivor » July 30th, 2012, 8:30 am

One of my coworkers, who is a turkey hunter and snake lover, told me today about a large EDB she came across crossing a short dirt road last Friday. She got out of her car and tried to get me a photo, but it got off the road before she could do so, and she's not one to try to handle a venomous snake. I know she is fully capable of identifying Florida's venomous snakes, so I trust that what she saw was in fact an EDB. The only useful info she could give me was location and time of day.

Normally I would say that a record without a voucher should be omitted from the database, but as EDB's slip closer to endangerment, I wondered if this would be a record worth entering. And while on the subject, for those of you who read my post a while back about what I now believe 100% to have been Indigo spotting, but did not get up close and did not get a photo, would that be worth entering as well, as long as the circumstances are notated in the record?

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 30th, 2012, 11:16 am

I would enter both.

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kyle loucks
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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by kyle loucks » July 30th, 2012, 1:06 pm

Bree, I have many historic entries that are voucherless. These records are worth a lot to me. For sensitive species such as those
two, the locations would be worth a further search, so capturing as much info as you can in the db would be great.

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Fundad
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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by Fundad » July 30th, 2012, 1:37 pm

I personally don't enter voucher less records.

Fundad

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soulsurvivor
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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by soulsurvivor » July 30th, 2012, 2:15 pm

I don't either, Fundad. Never have. The only reason I want to enter these is because they are species of special concern. I believe I will enter them. Others viewing the database can take them or leave them.

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spinifer
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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by spinifer » July 30th, 2012, 3:41 pm

So long as you dont have 500 vouchered records that you haven't entered yet, I wont complain. 8-)

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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by chrish » July 31st, 2012, 3:10 am

I would enter the records as well. When you get to the comments box, explain why you entered it without a voucher.

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jonathan
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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by jonathan » August 1st, 2012, 2:37 am

I enter voucherless records if I have never entered a vouchered record from that area. I wouldn't enter someone else's voucherless record though.

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Fundad
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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by Fundad » August 1st, 2012, 6:20 am

Its a slippery slope of credibility, IMO..

I am in the minority here, but I think we shouldn't allow voucherless records. Universities and museums dont allow them.

I found a Zonata on the Tejon Ranch and had my hands on it. Mike White PH'd Witnessed the whole thing. This is a first for that whole range.. I didn't enter it..

Fundad

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spinifer
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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by spinifer » August 1st, 2012, 9:12 am

Fundad wrote:Its a slippery slope of credibility, IMO..

I am in the minority here, but I think we shouldn't allow voucherless records. Universities and museums dont allow them.

I found a Zonata on the Tejon Ranch and had my hands on it. Mike White PH'd Witnessed the whole thing. This is a first for that whole range.. I didn't enter it..

Fundad
Universities and museums are professional organizations. This is a site for both amateurs and professionals. Programs that rely heavily on amateurs (e.g. Citizen scientists, State Atlases, etc.) allow unvouchered observations. As long as we continue to include amateurs in our scope I will not try to stop unvouchered records.

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Fundad
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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by Fundad » August 1st, 2012, 11:52 am

Universities and museums are professional organizations. This is a site for both amateurs and professionals. Programs that rely heavily on amateurs (e.g. Citizen scientists, State Atlases, etc.) allow unvouchered observations. As long as we continue to include amateurs in our scope I will not try to stop unvouchered records.
oh, I gave up the unvouchered battle with you guys a while back... :lol: :crazyeyes:

It's a slippery slope though.. And I will continue to mention it, and not do voucherless records.. Credibility is everything and trust can not be fixed once broken..

John trusts David
David trusts Jimmy
Jimmy trusts Sam (But NO one elses trusts Sam because HE lies all the time)

We have to allow "jimmy" to enter the voucherless records for Sam because we set a president. "its allowed".

Anyway, Lunch is over have to go back to work now.. Ignore my argument above.. :lol: :crazyeyes:

Fundad

PS Nate have you seen the all time scorecard? 4 of you have 3,300 records.. Pretty cool. (I need to add the All Time scorecard to the Naherp Link list, along with your links as well)

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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by Tamara D. McConnell » August 1st, 2012, 2:48 pm

What other people want to do is their business, but I personally do not enter records without a photo. I am not disparaging folks who do, just stating my own preference.

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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by Mike VanValen » August 1st, 2012, 8:52 pm

As of 2009 I do not enter voucherless records. I do have a bunch in the database. If I saw an Indigo and didn't get a voucher I would throw a fit and be in a funk for a few days and/or stake out the spot for days. I can admit I sometimes act like a psycho for missing an important voucher.

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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by chrish » August 2nd, 2012, 4:19 am

I agree with Fundad about this in principle, but I think there is sometimes value to some records even if they lack a voucher.

I have a 82 voucherless records that were entered when I sent Don a database of my records originally to be uploaded en masse. I have been going through and removing them a few at a time or finding vouchers for them. I have left a few because they are significant records. Hopefully they will inspire someone to go back to those areas and get a voucher.

I actually have a bigger problem with second hand records than I do voucherless records. If you didn't see it, find it or weren't there, you shouldn't enter it. That goes for museum collection data being entered as well. You are welcome to enter any museum collection specimens as vouchers, as long as you were the collector.

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kyle loucks
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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by kyle loucks » August 2nd, 2012, 11:49 am

I too have been deleting some of my voucherless records that were added way back. I am doing this for records that lack much of the other data. I may have entered a few in the last few years if they were important to me and my records, but overall, would not enter voucherless records unless it were for species such as what Bree had mentioned.

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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by Jimi » August 2nd, 2012, 2:16 pm

Bree - I think if you saw it and you have no doubt about what you saw, go for it. I'm less enthusiastic about secondhand, but...sometimes would relent. Particularly if it would be considered a "significant" sighting.

For example in 1979 I captured a southern hognose and a black pinesnake on the Seabee base at Gulfport MS. Both those taxa are of conservation interest. I have no photos. I was only 11 years old at the time, but I know what I saw - I had all the field guides available at that time, and used them. These kinds of records, I would enter.

I doubt your friend mis-ID'd the EDB. If you trust her, you trust her. Enter it.

I think in this kind of situation, voucherless records are OK. Obviously offering "proof" is better. But even a rumor of something interesting can motivate others to go and verify. I think without a photo, it might be useful to release the locality, in the hopes someone else might go back to get a photo or find a DOR.

When I was in Florida I submitted every EDB sighting I made to FNAI; driving every possible route, paved & not, between Ocala and St Augustine I saw quite a few. For what it's worth - FNAI require no photos or specimens, and accept records from the public. Surely they have some sort of internal QA/QC process.

Cheers,
Jimi

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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by chris_mcmartin » August 2nd, 2012, 3:26 pm

When I drive a certain long stretch of road (500+ miles each way), I record every DOR I see. I have something like 60-70 ornate box turtles from ONE DAY. I do not stop for voucher photos of each.

I make this drive every few months. It is my opinion that such information could be useful to SOMEONE, especially given the span over which the records occur. Should I put them in?

Voucherless records should be easy enough to annotate in any published work which may use them. Sort of like having Sammy Sosa in the Hall of Fame with an asterisk by his name. 8-)

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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by Jimi » August 3rd, 2012, 1:45 pm

Should I put them in
I absolutely think so. The repetitive nature of the observations should enhance their value. Especially over so long a transect. Especially if this drive ends up happening for years and years, as sometimes happens.
Voucherless records should be easy enough to annotate
This "asterisk thing" is an argument I make inside my agency. Some folks here would rather let 99 unimpeachable observations go unentered & unused, than let a single questionable record in. That's OK for certain uses of the data (e.g., regulation or enforcement). Other folks here would rather let the occasional dud pass through, if it meant we got a steady stream of mostly good stuff. That's OK too, for other uses of the data (e.g., exploratory modeling). My argument is - let's take it all, and label it according to whatever level of trust we give it. For those "gotta be gold" uses, hey, it's easy enough to screen the possibly-flaky records.

It probably works that way elsewhere too. Let the users decide what they want to use - just provide them enough info to make the call.

Cheers,
Jimi

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spinifer
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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by spinifer » August 3rd, 2012, 2:19 pm

chris_mcmartin wrote:When I drive a certain long stretch of road (500+ miles each way), I record every DOR I see. I have something like 60-70 ornate box turtles from ONE DAY. I do not stop for voucher photos of each.

I make this drive every few months. It is my opinion that such information could be useful to SOMEONE, especially given the span over which the records occur. Should I put them in?
If you GPSed or wrote down a locality for every one of them, then I would say sure, otherwise I'm not sure how you would remember those locations.

And while we are on the subject of you entering data, I am curious where you stand on this:

Image

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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by chris_mcmartin » August 3rd, 2012, 6:18 pm

spinifer wrote:If you GPSed or wrote down a locality for every one of them, then I would say sure, otherwise I'm not sure how you would remember those locations.
Yes, I did, and still do...mile markers on the road, anyway (interstate highway).

And while we are on the subject of you entering data, I am curious where you stand on this:

Image
Still haven't gotten to it. I have a prioritized list of projects, herp-related and otherwise (I kid you not--list is updated weekly and I carry it with me almost everywhere I go, to the chagrin of my bride). This task is on there, but it's fairly low still, due to higher-priority non-herp concerns, and even a couple of herp-related matters that I feel require my more immediate attention. :?

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Re: Secondhand account, No voucher....Database worthy?

Post by FunkyRes » August 3rd, 2012, 7:00 pm

I entered some historic ones where -

A) There was no doubt on identification
B) There were no or virtually no records for the county

I would not enter a voucher-less record I did not personally make, and I don't enter any now.

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