Annotations / Determinations

This page describes how to add annotations individually or in batch.

Annotations (also called Determinations) in Symbiota portals are taxonomic identifications provided for an occurrence.

Adding Individual Determinations/Annotations

To annotate an individual record or add previous determinations, navigate to the specimen in the Occurrence Editor (My Profile > Occurrence Records > name of collection > Edit Existing Records) and click the Determination History tab. If no previous annotations exist, you will see a message that says “There are no historic annotations for this specimen” and a box labeled Add a New Determination. If an annotation already exists on the specimen, you will see that annotation. In the latter situation, click the green plus sign to add a new annotation.

In the Add a New Determination Box, enter, at minimum, the scientific name, determiner (person who identified the specimen, if known. Enter “unknown” if not known), and the date (or “n.d.” if not known), at minimum. You can also add an identification qualifier (e.g., “cf.” or “aff.”), a reference, and notes, and you can select a confidence of determination, if desired. By default, if the date of determination is newer than that previous date of determination, the Make this the current determination box will be checked once you move your cursor out of the Date box. If you want this determination to be the most up-to-date identification for the specimen, keep this box checked (or check it, if it was not auto-checked). If you wish to print this annotation label now or in the future, also check the Add to Annotation Print Cue box. Click Submit Determination.

If the specimen previously had an identification and you have checked the box next to “Make this the current determination,” a historic annotation will be added to the record automatically as shown in the next screenshot. For this reason, you do not need to manually add a historic determination before you add a new determination.

Determination History Example

Batch Adding Annotations/Determinations

You can add many annotations at once using the Add Batch Determinations/Nomenclatural Adjustments tool. Navigate to this tool by accessing the Data Editor Control Panel (My Profile > Occurrence Records > name of collection) and clicking “Add Batch Determinations/Nomenclatural Adjustments.” To select the specimens to which determination data will be added (“Define Specimen Recordset”), either enter a list of catalog numbers (separated by commas) in the “Catalog Number:” field or select a taxon to evaluate by entering its name in the “Taxon:” field. Click the Add Record(s) to List button.

Batch Annotation Search Form

A table of specimens of the indicated taxon will appear below the “Define Specimen Recordset” box (see screenshot below). You can then select all the specimens that you wish to annotate by checking or unchecking the boxes in the leftmost column of the table. Use the “Select/Deselect all Specimens” box to uncheck or check all the boxes if you would prefer to select specimens one by one.

Batch Annotation Entry Form

Add information about the name change in the “New Determination Details” box. Here you can indicate whether the change is due to a new identification (“Identification Adjustment/Verification”) or a nomenclatural change (“Nomenclatural Adjustment”). An identification qualifier (e.g., “aff.” or “cf.”) can be added in the “Identification Qualifier:” field. Enter the new scientific name in the “Scientific Name” field, and the “Author:” field will automatically populate if the taxon is already in the taxon table. If the taxon is not in the taxon table, you will have to manually enter the author of the scientific name. You should also enter the name of the determiner in the “Determiner:” field, as well as the full date of determination in the “Date:” field. You can indicate the confidence in the determination (Low, Medium, or High) in the “Confidence of Determination:” field, list your determination references in the “Reference:” field, or include any other notes in the “Notes:” field. Finally, if you check the “Make this the current determination” box, the scientific name will be updated for the selected records. Otherwise, the determination will be added to the specimens’ records, but the most current ID name will not be changed.

If you wish to print the annotation labels in the future, check the “Add to Annotation Print Queue” box.

Cite this page:

Katie Pearson. Annotations / Determinations. In: Symbiota Support Hub (2021). Symbiota Documentation. Created on 26 Oct 2021.