An increasing number of online recording websites and apps are becoming linked to iRecord for centralised verification, generating a large volume of data from a widening community of recorders. To help experts check the quality of new records efficiently, verification rules developed by national recording schemes for NBN Record Cleaner have recently been incorporated into iRecord.
These verification rules are used to run regular automated checks to highlight records which are outside the known spatial or temporal range of the species, as well as records of species which are inherently difficult to identify. If a record is highlighted by these automated checks, a message is sent to the recorder. This is for information only – recorders do not need to take any action when they receive the message, but they can edit the record or add more information if they wish.
Verifiers can see the results of the automated verification checks for each record, and can also filter data to find records which have been flagged by the automated checks.
If a record is highlighted by the automated checks, this does not necessarily mean it is incorrect! Automated verification is a decision-support tool for highlighting unusual records, and human expertise remains essential in determining whether the record is acceptable. The identification difficulty rules take no account of different life stages and other factors which may make the species easier or harder to identify.
Verification rules have already been created for birds, plants, butterflies, macro-moths, hoverflies, bryophytes, mammals, dragonflies, spiders, crabs and priority marine species (BAP, protected or invasive species). Rules are currently being created for lichens, amphibians, reptiles and many terrestrial invertebrate groups, and will be incorporated into iRecord as soon as they are ready.
If you would be interested in verifying data through iRecord or if you would like more information, please contact iRecord@ceh.ac.uk
Please click here to be directed to the submit a wildlife record section on the NBN website.