There are two main ways that collections present their data in Symbiota portals: live or as a snapshot.
A live collection is one that manages their data directly in the Symbiota portal. Data entry, data editing, and digitization are conducted via a web browser within Symbiota portal. Live collections can start with as much or as little data as a collection wishes; if the collection already has a spreadsheet, database, or Darwin Core Archive of their collection data, they can import the data into the Symbiota portal and manage the data in the portal henceforth. A collection can also start the digitization process in the portal without any starting data. Some advantages to live management in a Symbiota portal include:
A snapshot collection is one that manages their data in a different content management system (e.g., Access, Specify, CSpace) and imports a copy of their data into a Symbiota portal so it can be discovered by more users and/or published to global aggregators. Snapshot collections can import their data into a Symbiota portal via a spreadsheet, Darwin Core Archive, or through an IPT (Integrated Publishing Toolkit) or other web-based system. A collection can set up and save an import profile that will allow future updates of the data as long as the unique identifier from that source (called “dbpk” in a Symbiota portal) remains the same between imports.
In both cases, collections in Symbiota portals benefit from: