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Barclay ecn 2012

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  • 1. Like many things in the world of loans………
  • 2. In the Coleoptera Section we have • 5 curators (not all full time) • 22,000 drawers of specimens • 205,523 species of beetle • 88,000 species represented by Types • ???,000,000 specimens ?!?
  • 3. Left to right Alex (volunteer) Beulah Garner (Caraboidea, Cleroidea) Emeline (volunteer), R Booth (Staphylinoidea and Cucujoidea) Christine Taylor (aquatic beetles) Malcolm Kerley (Scarabs and Elateroidea)
  • 4. The issue of Research Loans has been (in the past) among the most polarising issues among Natural History Curators.
  • 5. Loans and visitors 25% Public outreach 5% Corporate 5% Database and web 20% Curation and Collection Development 45%
  • 6. Arguments for and against loans •Quantifiable •Unquantifiable
  • 7. Quantifiable advantages ∀• IDENTIFICATION of existing material ∀• GIFTS of new material ∀• CITATION of the Museum
  • 8. Quantifiable disadvantages • ∀• RISK of LOSS ∀• TIME COSTS ∀• FINANCIAL COSTS
  • 9. Dataset used • Total Number of loans 8063 • Total Number of Specimens 484093 • Number of loans presently out 1715 • Number of specimens presently out 176149 • Range (Specimens) 1 - 8500 • Mean (Specimens) 60 • Mode (Specimens) 1 • Median (Specimens) 8
  • 10. • A very entomological problem……
  • 11. • Zoology 2 specimens
  • 12. • Palaeontology 2 specimens
  • 13. • Entomology 15,842 specimens
  • 14. Proportion of returned loans consisting of named, indet and Type material N.= 113912 Type specimens, 6615, 6% Indet specimens, 81049, 71% Named specimens, 26248, 23% More than 70% of material in loans is borrowed as indet…
  • 15. This has been consistent for a number of years Returned specimens by category last 10 years 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000 18000 20000 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Type Nam Indet
  • 16. 29% of returned loans include a gift . • TOTAL GIFTS 20423 • NAMED MATERIAL 7937 • INDET MATERIAL 11182 • PARATYPES 1279 • HOLOTYPES 25
  • 17. Publications • Total Borrowers in dataset 676 • Total borrowers who published 599 • Range (# of papers lifetime) 0 - 276 • Mean number of papers 24.7 • Total Papers by borrowers 16760 • Proportion of Taxonomic literature written by our borrowers 55%
  • 18. 1. NHM, London (71) 2. Smithsonian (62) 3. NHM, Vienna (57) 4. MNHN, Paris (43) 5. Nat. Hist. Mus. Stockh. (20) 6. Univ. of Kansas (13) 7. Zool. Mus., Lund (11) 8. NHM, Stuttgart (11) 9. ZMUC (9) 10. Austral. Nat. Ins. Col. (9) 11. INBio, Costa Rica (9) 12. Inst. Zool. China (9) 13. Naturalis, Leiden (3) 14. Mirzayans Mus. Iran (1) Relative citation of Beetle Collections Early 21st Century Screened journals: Koleopterologische Rundschau (Austria) Coleopterists Bulletin (USA) Zootaxa
  • 19. Category number proportion TYPES 6 0.09% NAMED SPECIMENS 12 0.05% INDET. SPECIMENS 203 0.25% 221 0.19% TOTAL LOANS LOST 5 0.24% TOTAL SPECIMENS LOST Losses – 1990 to present
  • 20. Costs • 25% of 5 Curators’ time • Postage: Average of £4.76 per loan (£0 for hand carried, £5 UK, £7 EEC, £9 World Zone 1 and £11 World zone 2).
  • 21. Unquantifiable Arguments in favour of loans • What is the value of a prominent scientist’s belief that your museum is among the finest in the world, not just in terms of the breadth of the collections, but the ease with which he and his students, to whom he transmits his enthusiasm, can access them?
  • 22. • What is the cost of a promising PhD that was never completed because the student was unable to see crucial Type material?
  • 23. • Aside from the considerations of an institute’s reputation, there are the ethical and philosophical questions of ownership and intellectual property.
  • 24. Unquantifiable Arguments against loans • “Why should I help her with her research when I could spend that time doing my own” • Why are we helping another museum’s or country’s science and not our own
  • 25. • These last arguments are not only idle, selfish, petty, nationalistic and generally totally vile; they also (willfully?) ignore the evidence….
  • 26. Recent years have shown a consistent ris in the number of loans 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 y1988 y1990 y1992 y1994 y1996 y1998 y2000 y2002 y2004 y2006 y2008 y2010 y20
  • 27. • 2011: Loans for 34 people (56 boxes) were carried out • 41 people's pre-existing loans in 62 boxes returned • exchanged loans with 58 people from 14 countries! • The total number of specimens identified for us by borrowers from our undetermined material was 3,413, • (19 Holotypes of new species, and 226 new paratypes).
  • 28. Loans to Prague 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Oct-04 Apr-05 Oct-05 Apr-06 Oct-06 Apr-07 Oct-07 Apr-08 Oct-08 Apr-09 Oct-09 Apr-10 Oct-10 Apr-11 Oct-11 Apr-12 new species to collection as a result 2012 880 2011 1278 2010 908 2009 1268 2008 1281 2007 5615
  • 29. Coleoptera specimens on loan by year 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 40000 y1988 y1990 y1992 y1994 y1996 y1998 y2000 y2002 y2004 y2006 y2008 y2010 y2012
  • 30. • In the Average Year the team of 5 curators would invest in loans: • 25% of their time • (2410 Hours) • £1270.92 in postage
  • 31. They would send out….. • 267 loans • Totalling 17,436 specimens • (average of 65.3 specimens per loan) • 71% (12380) would be Undetermined • 23% (4010) would be named specimens • 6% (1046) would be Types
  • 32. • The 12,380 indet specimens would come back identified free of charge, often by the best specialists available in each individual group.
  • 33. •When these loans came back they would be accompanied by gifts comprising 3,054 mounted specimens
  • 34. •of these, 1743 would be unnamed, 1211 would be named, 196 would be paratypes, and 4 would be Holotypes
  • 35. • Following these loans, several hundred taxonomic publications would acknowledge or cite the Museum’s collections.
  • 36. • Based on the Insect Identification Service’s recommendation that specialists should allow 30 minutes to make an accurate species level identification, if Museum staff had identified the undetermined material included in the above loans themselves, they would have needed to spend 6190 hours (3.2 working years).
  • 37. • This is 2.5 times the time needed to send out and return the loans • Therefore by sending indet material out on loan it can be processed and identified 2.5 times as efficiently as it could be done in house, i.e. at a saving of 3780 working hours per year (the equivalent of having two new full time staff working on identifications).
  • 38. • To purchase 12,380 identifications at the standard commercial rate of £86.00 per specimen would have cost £1,064,680.00! • In addition to this, the specimens have been named by leading specialists, instead of generalist museum curators, so the quality of the identifications is likely to be higher.
  • 39. Other advantages • Types among determined material • Training of staff by osmosis/ contact • Fulfilling our responsibility as a repository of Type Material. • Bolstering our reputation in the world scientific community • Advancing science in a time of biodiversity crisis.
  • 40. • This is an unbelievable return for 25% of curator time and a bit of postage…. • LOANS MUST BE the single most important factor in collections development for large, difficult taxa.
  • 41. Come and visit us!! Please collect an deposit your Natural History Museum loans the foyer on the way out It’s fun!!!