MorphoSource is a site that supports reseach, education, and personal curiosity based on examination of digitized representations of physical objects, as well as management of digitized collections of physical objects by collection organizations (like museums).

Therefore, all media on MorphoSource must directly via imaging events (raw data) or indirectly through imaging and processing events (derivative data) represent a physical object that exists or once existed. Imagery that does not represent physical objects can almost never be considered data or allowed on the site according to the scope of support described above. 

Thus, all media must be attached to a specimen or physical object record. This is not a limitation of the site, but a means of maximizing two qualities of data uploaded to the site: (1) its reuse potential, and (2) its ability to support replication and reproduction of research that cites MorphoSource as its data source.

If you have data that you think represents a real physical object, but do not know enough about it to supply critical metadata for creating a specimen record, it is probably not beneficial to archive it for scientific purposes.

Almost every specimen record should include information in at least two metadata fields: Institution code and catalog number. Most specimen records, especially those from museums should include information in many other fields as well.  Unfortunately, because there are very, very rare scenarios where a catalog number is not appropriate, it is not required by the system. However, in most cases if you either (1) fail to supply a catalog number or (2) create a new object record with a catalog number that is identical to the catalog number used by other physical object records (including blank) with the same institution code, you will be asked to revise the record.

In this article we give advice and instructions for creating physical object records based on:

(1) whether the object is housed in a museum (imported, manually created specimens, manually created cultural heritage objects)

(2) in a researcher's lab

(3) in a private collection

(4) represents a specimen that no longer exists or was scanned sequentially and was modified or changed between imaging events.

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