Data management in recent mammal collections



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Texas Tech University


Current trends in museum practices show increasing awareness of the important role complete and accurate data play in collection management. Careful integration of computer technology into data management procedures can reduce the effort associated with multiple transcriptions of data, increase the accuracy and consistency of data, and result in a more useful electronic database. WildCat is a relational database management system developed in 1997 to facilitate data management in the Recent mammal collection of Texas Tech University. WildCat consists of four distinct parts, the third of which, WildCat III, is a data entry application for use in-house and in the field. WildCat III allows a new approach to data management by introducing computerized data entry into the first stages of data gathering rather than at the more traditional final stage. This thesis determines the effectiveness of WildCat III in the capture of field-generated data, provides information concerning the use of computers in field situations, and discusses the impact electronic data capture has on mammal collections management.