Joining an Existing Portal

Click the button below to find a list of active Symbiota portals. You will want to select a Symbiota portal that matches the scope of your data. You can add your data to a Symbiota portal as a “live” collection or a “snapshot” (see this page for more information about management types in Symbiota portals).

List of Symbiota Portals Request to Join a Symbiota Portal

Once you have identified an existing Symbiota portal to which you want to publish specimen data, contact the project or portal managers to become a data provider. Portal contacts are typically listed on the homepage or within the left menu of the data portal. Contact for help if you are unable to find the portal contact.

You may publish data to more than one portal; however, it is recommended to only manage a particular dataset or collection in one Symbiota portal, and all other portals would host only a snapshot of those data. Different collections (e.g., vascular plants vs. lichens vs. bryophytes) can be live-managed on their respective portals.

Typically, the portal manager will need the information in the following list to initiate your collection within the portal. Once the collection has been added, data can be loaded. See the page on Uploading Specimen Data for details on methods and acceptable data formats for upload specimen.

Information needed to create a new collection within a portal:

  • Collection title that will be listed on the search page
  • Institution and collection codes (e.g. acronyms)
  • Short description of collection holdings and preparation types
  • Contact(s): name, title, email, and ORCID, if available
  • Link(s) to homepage and/or other external resources
  • Collection or institution icon – a small image that visually represents the collection, icons that are roughly the same height and width work best
  • Preferred usage rights. The portal manager should be able to advice you on this. It may also be useful to read the following Creative Commons links:,
  • Whether you are publishing a snapshot of your data that will be periodically updated, or you plan to manage the data as a live dataset directly within the portal
  • Source of the Global Unique identifier (GUID) for the specimen records. If the specimen records are managed directly within the portal, we recommend letting the portal automatically generate a GUID (UUID) when records are created. If a data snapshot is published from a local in-house data management system, GUIDs need to be generated locally and then included in the data published to the portal.

What if I have multiple collections or data types? If you have multiple collections (e.g., vascular plants, fungi, and bryophytes), it is recommnded to manage these separately in their respective data portals. This is because the taxonomic thesauri of the portals are well-curated to their focal taxonomic group, and you are more likely to be able to take advantage of digitization efficiencies (e.g., duplicate matching) in that portal. See more information on our Managing Multiple Portals page.

Cite this page:

Ed Gilbert, ed: Katie Pearson. Joining an Existing Portal. In: Symbiota Support Hub (2021). Symbiota Documentation. Created on 23 Aug 2014, last edited on 16 Dec 2021.