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Topic: Spurious data extraction - why & how?

Yesterday, I extracted all species data relating to a specific site hierarchy using the report wizard and found that the resulting dataset included a number of highly suspect records, as follows: Mantodea (x11 records) & Apteromantis aptera (x1 record) - an order and a species not recorded in the LERC catchment and, as such, with no records in our database.

I saved the dataset and ran precisely the same extraction several times today and was unable to duplicate the result! Using dates and recorders, I searched the database in a variety of ways in an effort to determine the origin of these spurious records and found that records did exist for all the dates and at all the sites in question but none of them involved mantids of any description! Intriguingly, the records did not relate to a single species either, but to a range of common birds, mammals & vascular plants.

Checking through the species dictionaries in R6, I found that the order Mantodea appears only in the Orthoptera dictionary whilst the species A. aptera appears only in the 'list of additional species' dictionary.

I am obviously at a loss as to how and why this occurred and would welcome any tips from those of a more technical bent as to how to avoid it in future. Had this dataset been sent out to a client unchecked, it would have raised more than a few eyebrows!

Any advice or comment welcomed.

Paul

Biological Records Officer
Rotherham MBC
Biological Records Centre

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Re: Spurious data extraction - why & how?

Please can you tell me which version of the  Dictionary you are on and also which version of Recorder 6.   In R6 look in help/About Recorder 6. When you selected the type of Taxon name for the report which name did you choose (eg. Recommended name, Taxon Latin Name ).

Mike Weideli
Littlefield Consultancy - IT Consultants

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Re: Spurious data extraction - why & how?

Thanks for your quick response Mike. We are using v6.22.2.274 (March 2014) and dictionary version 00000010.

I have run the report wizard with a range of variables and can confirm that I get the spurious taxon names appended to records when I use all of the relevant options individually in the Taxon attributes section of the wizard as far as 'Taxon Common Name', when the records in question have this field blank! This is repeated in the case of 'Taxon Latin Name' and 'Taxon Name'; however, when 'Recommended Taxon Name' is checked, the whole column is missing from the report!

I hope that my description of the nature of this glitch is understandable and that you can provide any pointers as to what may be happening here; to coin a phrase, "Curiouser and curiouser ..."

Biological Records Officer
Rotherham MBC
Biological Records Centre

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Re: Spurious data extraction - why & how?

Hi. That is a long way back with the dictionary ( Over 15 dictionary upgrades). It is pre the  introduction of the Organsim table, which has changed things dramatically.  The dictionary at that time depended on the accuracy of all the Taxon List and at least one had a  very dubious structure. However, it may be that this isn't all the problem and I suspect that  your dictionary had got out of sync. prior to that. If that has happened I can help get things right, but  we aren't even going to be able to investigate until you are up to the latest dictionary (0000003B).  I may be able to provide a consolidated list to save you downloading the individual dictionary upgrades.

Mike Weideli
Littlefield Consultancy - IT Consultants