Specify 6 tutorial (under construction!)
Specify is a database platform for museum and herbarium research data. It manages species and specimen information for computerizing biological collections, tracking museum specimen transactions, linking images to specimen records and publishing catalogue data to the Internet.
Specify supports data from specimens, taxonomic and stratigraphic classifications, field notebooks, DNA sequence runs, literature references, as well as from other primary sources. It also manages the information associated with repository agreements, accessions, conservation treatments, collection object containers, images, and document attachments.
Specify 6 is written in Java for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux computers and uses the relational data manager, MySQL, as its data engine.
Online video tutorials
Just below the headlines of the different chapters in this tutorial, you will find a link to the corresponding Specify Helpcast video tutorial (if any). You can watch the videos for more elaborate information on the different subjects.
You can find all video Helpcasts on this link: http://specifysoftware.org/specify-project-helpcasts/.
You can also see the Specify HelpSnips, which are very short tutorials on particular Specify Software capabilities. Shorter than HelpCasts, HelpSnips are perfect for short attention spans. See all on https://vimeo.com/channels/specifyhelpsnips.
This tutorial only describes the most used forms, functions and features, not all that are mentioned in the Helpcast videos. Therefore, some chapters just consist of headline, keywords and link to the Helpcast video. Other chapters go beyond the Helpcast videos and cover e.g. examples of user stories and information flows for digitisation of specimens / collections and related items (field notes etc.).
Most of the chapters in this tutorial address Specify end users (curators, collection managers), and a few chapters address only admin users (tutors / administrators).
- Installation of Specify 6
- User Stories
- Database Structure
- Collection Objects
- The Specify User Interface and the Collection Object Data Form
- Data Forms
- Specify Data Forms: layout and design, Required fields
- Data Entry
- Data Form Design, Basic Data Entry, Saving Records
- Menus & Fields
- Using Specify Menus, Data Entry Options, Query Combo Boxes, and Picklists
- Using Data Trees
- Navigating and Using Specify's Data Tree Windows
- Advanced Trees
- Advanced Data Tree Operations, Tree Definitions and Design
- Structured Queries: Query Builder Basics
- Creating, Executing and Saving Structured Queries
- Pick Lists
- Creating and Modifying Specify's Pick List Fields to Control Vocabulary
- Changing Your Specify Program Preferences
- Structured Query Builder: Advanced Capabilities
- Custom report design, and specimen data exporting
- Simple Search
- Using and Configuring Specify's Simple Search For Efficient Data Retrieval
- Specify Interaction
- Specimen Loan and Gift Processing, Printing Invoices, Repository Agreements, Accessions and Permits, Borrows, Information Requests, Shipping Documents and other Interaction
- Reports and Labels
- Custom printed label and report design, Create Reports, Labels for Workbench Records
- Field or legacy bulk data uploads are supported from Microsoft Excel files through the Specify WorkBench
- Attaching Files or a batch of files to a Record
- Customizing Specify's Interface Properties, Importing and Exporting Specification Files
- Schema Configuration
- Data Field Customizations of the Specify User Interface
- Introduction to Specify 7
- Specify 6.6 and Insight for iPad
- Create New User and Grant User Permissions
- Schema Mapper
- Organizing outgoing copies of specimen records to produce data formats needed by other projects
- Data Form Customization
Thank you to biologist and web editor Lotte Endsleff (former DanBIF employee) for planning and constructing these tutorial webpages and writing, compiling and editing the text.