Frequently Asked Questions

What does this website do?

This website was developed by the National Biodiversity Data Centre to facilitate the recording of species records by members of the public. Using the forms listed on home page you can record species records across a number of specific groups. If you are not sure how to use the forms or would like more information then please take a look at the tutorial.

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What happens to my data once I submit it?

After you have submitted data to the system it will be reviewed and validated by species experts here at the Centre. If any errors are noticed or if further validation is required you may be contacted via email by a species expert from the centre. Once validation has been completed your data will then be loaded to the mapping system. After this loading process is complete you will be able to take advantage of all the advanced functionality provided by the mapping system to examine your data such as live mapping and generating reports, to name but a few.

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Can I download a copy of my data?

Yes. You can download a copy of the data you have submitted at any time via the download page. Fill in your email address and a copy of your records will be emailed to you. Please note it is best to use only one email address when submitting records as the records will be retrieved based on the email address you used when submitting them. Thus if you had used email@xyz123.com to submit some records and email@xyz234.com to submit others and then download records using email@xyz123.com; the system will only retrieve records for email@xyz123.com and not email@xyz234.com. Therefore it is easier to use the same email address for all your recording.

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Species forms vs Site forms?

On the home page you have two options for recording species observations within certain taxanomic groups. You can choose to record your observations via a "Species Form" or via a "Site Based Form".

Species Forms

The "Species Form" is designed to be used to submit species records when they occur at many different locations. For instance if you were out walking and recorded species at many distinct locations rather than at one site, you would use the "Species Form" to submit them. Also some of the "Species Forms" allow for the input of more specific data which is only related to that specific species record, this functionality is not avaliable in the "Site Based Forms".

Site Based Forms

The "Site Based Form" as the name implies is designed to be used to submit species records when they occur primarily at one location. For instance if you were out recording at one defined site, you would use the "Site Based Form" to submit your records. In this situation it is much quicker to use the "Site Based Form" as you simply enter your location data once and then tick which species occured at the location. You can if you wish input a more detailed grid reference for a record along with abundance data. However grid reference and abundance are the only record specific data allowed in the "Site Based Forms", all the rest of the fields will be the same as the site. If you wish to submit a record where the data is all related to the species record then you should use the "Species Forms".

If you are not sure how to use the forms or would like more information then please take a look at the tutorial.

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How do I get/check a grid reference?

In order to make recording as easy as possible, the centre has designed a tool to allow you to get a grid reference by simply clicking on a map. To use this tool either click on Get A Grid Reference in the main menu or on the help icon Get A Grid Reference next to the gird reference field on both the "Species" and "Site Based" forms. Please read the inctructions at the top of the grid reference page carefully and exercise care in selecting an accurate grid reference as this will greatly increase the value of your species record.

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How do I retrieve my data from the old recording systems?

With the release of this new recording system the centre's old recording systems are now deprecated and no longer accept data entry. However for a period of time you will still be able to retrieve your records from the old systems. In order to retrieve your data please use the links to the various old records submission systems which can be found on the links page.

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Ask A Question

If you have a question that we have not covered here then please fill out the following form and click "Ask A Question". This will email us your question. We will then reply to you and if needs be add your question and its answer to the FAQ page.

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