About - How to contribute

How To Contribute Data

(Before submitting data you must have a morphbank user account)
There are several ways in which a user or a group of users can upload images to morphbank. Certain variables of a particular data and image set help determine which upload method fits best.

Choosing upload method - Considerations

Upload Methods

1. The Web Interface. Images are uploaded separately along with their associated text information by filling out web forms. The web upload process is described in detail in the morphbank User's Manual. You must log in and choose a group before being able to submit. Consider this option if the following criteria seem to fit:

2. Morphbank Excel Workbook v3. Morphbank provides a pre-prepared modular (object-oriented), multi-page Excel Workbook in 2 versions. They are identical except for the drop-down tables. One is tailored to kingdom Animalia, the other to Plantae. Read a little more about the v 3 Workbooks and download the corresponding workbook and manual from there or get: Manual - Excel Workbook v3. Contributors can send to morphbank a CD containing images and an Excel Workbook populated with information. We also have ftp upload. Consider this option using the following factors:

3. Morphbank Custom Workbook. This latest upload method released for Morphbank Contributors focuses on fields from the main Morphbank objects: Image, Specimen, Locality and View. The Workbook and Instructions for populating each field are found under Manual - Morphbank Custom Workbook. Contributors need to consider the factors listed next:

Fields in this workbook are also DarwinCore2 (dwc v1.2) fields. Users of this upload method are also able to enter user-defined fields to accommodate data where there is no existing Morphbank field that fits. In this instance, Contributors are strongly encouraged to try and find a field in one of the following Schemas that match the requirements. Using standard Schemas greatly facilitates data-sharing between computers, aka interoperability.

Morphbank encourages Contributors to try this method. It may be possible in the near future, via something like Morphbank Services for users to upload and update their data directly using the custom workbook or the v 3 Workbook.

4. Morphbank XML Upload: Users with data in a database and many images (>500) are encouraged to use this option. This method is suitable when users plan to upload multiple large datasets and the accompanying images over time. Efforts are underway to automate this process. Considerations for this option:

Work-flow for this Option is roughly as follows:

XML Expertise: Those would-be Contributors facile with XML are encouraged to contact mbadmin at scs dot fsu dot edu. Users must put their data into the Morphbank XML Schema themselves, facilitating the upload process.

5. Specify plug-in. Currently in alpa-testing, a plug-in from Specify allows any contributor with data already in Specify6 to upload directly to Morphbank from Specify. Consider this option using the following factors:

How to save and send the files

For each image set with a unique release date, create a separate folder. Name each folder uniquely, preferably with no spaces or special characters. Inside each folder, place the morphbank Excel workbook and all associated images. The workbook manuals should be followed carefully to prevent errors in your upload. You can send your data to morphbank admin in several ways:

  • DVD or CD. Save all image collection files on a CD or DVD and send to morphbank via land mail (see address below). Make sure to keep a backup copy for yourself and send with proper postage and protection.
  • Secure FTP upload. Morphbank provides ftp (ftp) and secure ftp (sftp) upload service as an alternative to mailing CDs/DVDs. Registered morphbank users may email mbadmin at scs dot fsu dot edu for password, username and address. Although you should be familiar with sftp or ftp, only minimal experience is necessary to use this service. The Morphbank server may be accessed through any graphic sFTP program, terminal or the command line.
  • External Hard Drive. Those with a large number of images may want to send them to Morphbank on an external hard drive. After upload, Morphbank returns the hard drive.
  • Images via cURL. If images are already on a server accessible to Morphbank, images can be copied over from that server using an automated script. The contributor arranges for the Morphbank server to have permission to access the image files in this manner. Data is still sent to Morphbank on CD or DVD or via ftp or sftp.

Once a morphbank administrator has sent your account information you may begin uploading. Be sure to use sftp as the transfer protocol. There is no limit on the number of files uploaded at one time. Once the images are on the server email mbadmin at scs dot fsu dot edu and let us know that your file transfer is complete and if you would like the account to remain open. Morphbank will delete the files off of the server once they have been received and the account password changed if the account is not requested to remain open. This service may be used once or many times depending on the user's specific needs.

When we receive images it may be a few weeks before upload; a member of the morphbank admin team will contact you in order to check your image upload or follow up with corrections to your Excel workbook. For further information about these options contact the morphbank admin group at mbadmin at scs dot fsu dot edu

Mailing Address for non-web upload:
400 Dirac Science Library
School of Computational Science
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4120