Frequently Asked Questions

Symbiota is an open source software that provides content management for biodiversity data while serving as a data access portal and aggregator. Learn more about Symbiota on the project website.
  1. Visit the list of existing Symbiota portals and determine whether your collection fits within the scope of any of these portals.

  2. Contact the portal administrator or help desk email of the portal you would like to join. If you can’t find this, fill out this form to request to join an existing Symbiota portal.

Once you’ve joined a portal (see FAQ question above), you can import your data as a spreadsheet (converted into CSV format) or as a Darwin Core Archive. Instructions for uploading your data can be found on this page; however, it’s advised to get help the first time you upload data. For assistance, email the Symbiota Support Hub.

Free image storage in Symbiota portals is not unlimited, and therefore, there are no batch uploading tools in the portals. Please contact the Symbiota Support Hub for image hosting options.

If you host images on your own web-accessible servers (i.e., all of your images have public URLs), you can use the Image URL Mapping tool to associate these images with your occurrence records.

For a more comprehensive description of how images are handled in Symbiota portals and your options for image hosting, watch our recorded webinar on this topic.

Instructions for editing your collection metadata can be found on this page.
Depending on the portal, the Symbiota Support Hub may be able to help you get the right permissions for your request. Please fill out this form, providing as much information as possible, to request access.

If the taxonomic name(s) you’d like to add are associated with specimens in your collection, you may be able to automatically add those names using the Taxonomy Cleaning Tool. This tool will auto-import any names that it finds in the Catalog of Life that match names in your records.

When this tool does not prevail, contact your portal administrator or the Symbiota Support Hub about adding names to the taxonomic thesaurus. It helps to provide a list of references (e.g., publications, online articles) associated with the names you’d like to add.

Locked out of your account? Don’t create a new one! Click the Reset Password or Retreive Login link on the login page to your portal.

If you don’t receive the password reset email shortly, check your spam folder. If you still don’t see it, contact the Symbiota Support Hub to hard reset your password.