Recorder 6 news

Written by Clare Blencowe, Recorder 6 Steering Group

It was in April 2019 that we introduced the annual licence fee for Recorder 6. The licence fee works on a financial year basis, from 1 April through to 31 March, and we are now into the fourth year of these arrangements. Time flies! If you haven’t already renewed your licence for 2022-23, you can do it now, here.

The licence fee is the same as it has been in previous years:

  • Organisations with full-time paid employees: £250, to cover all the organisation’s copies
  • Individuals and voluntary organisations without full-time paid employees: £25 per copy

You will need a licence if you want to access Recorder 6 dictionary updates. Online payment, via Paypal or card, is the preferred method of payment. Paying via this method will ensure that the licence key is emailed to you immediately. Payment via invoice is possible, however this means that there will be a delay in sending the licence key, as this will not be released until payment has been received.

Over the last few years, the licensing arrangements have enabled us to get a much clearer picture of the current Recorder 6 user base, which is spread across the whole spectrum of the NBN. It is clear that Recorder 6 remains a vital component of biodiversity data management infrastructure across the UK, as well as in Ireland and Luxembourg.

Mike Weideli continues to provide basic maintenance and dictionary updates for Recorder 6 on a voluntary basis, as an ‘in kind’ contribution to the Recorder 6 community. Thank you, Mike!

Dictionary update

Thelatest dictionary update (00000052)brings the Recorder 6 Dictionary into line with the UK Species Inventory (UKSI), as at 18 May 2022. It includes recent revisions made by JNCC to conservation designations for UK taxa. Chris Raper, who manages the UKSI, confirmed that there have also been various updates to fungi & lichens, including a number of new species; a revision of the Lepidoptera by Les Evans-Hill & Chris Raper; updates to birds by Andy Musgrove; updates to sawflies by Andrew Green and further changes to the beetles by Andrew Duff.

Support through the NBN Forum

Mike has asked that, if you have issues with Recorder 6 or require support, please post these on the NBN Forum. If you are an experienced user of Recorder 6 yourself, or have experience trouble-shooting networked installation issues, please do what you can to support others in the Recorder 6 user community.

It can’t be emphasised enough that we need people in the Recorder 6 user community to support each other, as much as possible, to avoid over-burdening Mike. It’s therefore important that requests are routed through the Forum as a first step, rather than emailing Mike direct.

I am in regular communication with Mike, and we’re aware that there are a small number of users who are experiencing issues with Recorder 6 which go beyond the scope of the current support arrangements – particularly if they involve local network set-up issues. The Recorder 6 Steering Group would therefore like users to make us aware if you have outstanding support needs or issues with Recorder 6, by posting them on the NBN Forum. We will review options for addressing them, so that Recorder 6 continues to be useable.

Could you provide consultancy support?

We would also welcome ‘expressions of interest’ from anyone with specialist knowledge of Recorder 6 and SQL Server administration, or other relevant IT / developer skills, who might be willing to support other Recorder 6 users on a consultancy basis. If you know someone suitable or think you could help, please drop an email to

SQL Server issues

Recorder 6 continues to work with versions of SQL Server up to SQL Server 2017. There are some issues with running Recorder 6 on SQL Server 2019 (thank you to Charlie Barnes for logging his experiences on the NBN forum, here) – so for the moment we recommend sticking with SQL Server 2017.

Recorder 6 parallel/successor system

Work on scoping a Recorder 6 parallel/successor system continues to move forward. Last year, the Recorder 6 Steering Group commissioned an initial prototype, developed by John van Breda, to investigate the feasibility of developing a new user interface system for the existing Recorder 6 SQL Server database that could ultimately become a replacement or parallel system to Recorder 6. Following testing of the initial prototype, we are now in the process of commissioning ‘Stage 2’ of this feasibility study – with the aim of producing an easy-to-install prototype which we can then roll out to the wider Recorder 6 user community for testing and feedback. We will update you on this in due course.

Recorder 6 Steering Group

Finally, I also wanted to mention that the Recorder 6 Steering Group, which is set up to represent the interests of the whole Recorder 6 user community and make decisions on funding, is in the process of re-grouping. We have a vacancy for a representative of Recorder 6 users in Scotland. If you are interested in getting involved, please feel free to get in touch with me at

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