NBN Record Cleaner

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NBN Record Cleaner

This NBN app is out of date, eg my recent notifications have had statements  such as coordinates outside of know range, when in fact there are records. Alucita hexadactyla is one example, for indeed as can be seen here there are records. If my memory serves me well the Privet Hawk-moth was another case where it was claimed the coordinates were out of its known range, 11 records shown in this case. Surely something is amiss with the app, or NBN is not updating it as they should?  A side affect of this anomaly seems to be the non verification of ID's, why? With much respect,


Mick E Talbot

Matt Smith

Mick - just ignore them - they have no inflence on whether a record is verified or not in my book.  They are under development and they only look at ranges of verified records on iRecord, so quite often things come up as "outside of known range" when they are clearly not.  Not sure why they are there - waste of time as far as I am concerned - records get verified individually by me.

NBN Record cleaner.


Not really reassured, please read on. Please note I am an experienced field recorder. If I do have a problem with an ID voucher specimens are collected and sent to the appropriate experts.  Even the latter information, when given, holds no credence, which has me thinking why I give it the first place. The situation, as is, is offensive to me, and in one case to date has offended another. I refer to to Steve Gregory who is an authority in the field re. Isopoda, Diplopoda, Chilopoda, yet when his determination/confirmations are mentioned they appear to be totally disregarded, why? If, (and I have already mentioned it), the NBN record cleaner continues to be utilised then there are always going to be anomalies, ether see that its updated or bin it. I have been advised to disregard the NBN apps derisory comments by a member of admin, I think admin should too!!

Look folk I have much respect for you and the site, but recording a species that has not been observed at a location before should not put the ID in dispute*, let alone the location itself. Come on, is not the latter called a first, and I have a few of them for VC53.

*Especially if supported by voucher specimens, which in my case have been sent to experts for determination.



Matt I have have 9 years of records to put up, of which a good few have been sent to national and county recorders whom, so I was led to belive were ment to send them to NBN, not the case, disillusioned I am. Could it be that the same thing is happening to them, surely not?  

hi Mick

hi Mick

The NBN Record Cleaner rule checks are not used to make verification decisions.  The do not put the ID in dispute.  They are for information only, and provided to both records and expert verifiers.  Some verifiers use them to filter records that may need greater scrutiny, others choose not to use them (e.g. Matt).  Any information you provide on determination etc will be made available to verifiers so I would strongly encourage you to continue the good practice of providing this.  You can ignore the rule checks if you are confident of your records.

The NBN Record Cleaner rules are therefore used to flag up potential data entry errors or ID problems, but equally can highlight new locations for species.  We think they are a useful part of iRecord.

I appreciate the language used by the rules could be improved - they were created for use within a different context (data managers using the Record Cleaner software).  We are also seeking opportunities to improve the rules as new knowledge comes available (e.g. confirmed IDs for new locations should lead to an update to the rules).

Thanks for your feedback which helps us identify where improvements to iRecord need to be made.

all the best


Matt Smith
Record notifications

BWARS are trying to encourage "new" recorders making posts on our "UK Bees, Wasps and Ants" Facebook page to make use of iRecord so we can capture their records. With regards to some of the language used, I have had several of these recorders worry about the messages or say things like  "I had to stop entering the data because it asked me about Vice-county recorders and I don't know who that is", so some revision of the messages might be useful.

NBN record cleaner, and more.

Dear David.

I have to say that I disagree, it does put ID's in dispute by requesting more data/images. I've  said on more than one occasion that I would not put a record up unless I was sure  it is correct. I also quite often refer to Scientists, Authorities, experts, other UK recording schemes and sites who  have by what ever valid way deemed  them as right  too.  So please help me to comprehend why these expert  determinations are not accepted,  I am sure it would help clear the enormous backlog of verifications you must have if they were. 

Anon, best wishes,


(71 on June  1st)

Matt Smith


I think you will find that any backlog of verifications are mostly down to to things that have nothing to do with an system generated messages.

1) A lack of Verifiers for a particular taxon group / region / vice-county etc etc.

2) A lack of a verification status along the lines of "well, we know its a bumblebee, but can't tell exactly which one".  At the moment we only have a yes/no option and from a verification point of view a "probably/likely" status is needed for those records where we can't get a full ID.  Something along these lines is work in progress at the moment.



I think you, and the admin core are missing the point, before I go on I must say I agree with all you have said. Back to admin missing the point... 

1) A lack of Verifiers for a particular taxon group / region / vice-county etc etc.  There are maybe four of my records that need verification, and I think it will be found that the option used was the 2nd one, "likely",against them.  All the others that just go by the 1st option "certain", are obvious to the experienced recorders, or observers that are to some degree knowledgeable in the relevant applicable fields of entomology, I know I am blowing my own trumpet, but I do consider myself in that category. The not so  obvious are, in the main, covered by the "identified by"  option, this is the one that sticks in my graw. It will be easier if I put up an example such as Zygenella pulchra.  

Dr Alan Stewart
Post: Senior Lecturer in Ecology (Evolution, Behaviour and Environment)
Location: JMS BUILDING 5B19
Email: A.J.A.Stewart@sussex.ac.uk
Personal homepage: stewartlab

Telephone numbers
Internal: 7476
UK: 01273 877476
International: +44 1273 877476

Research expertise:
Community Ecology, Conservation Ecology, Conservation Science, Ecology, biodiversity and systematics, Entomology, Insects.

The same Dr. Alan Stewart who I put up as the person who ID'ed Z. pulchra for me by way of  voucher specimens, yet this was deemed not adequate for verification, what is that all about?  Reiterating even more, for have I not mentioned a few times that  this scholarly gentleman is also the National Recorder for all Hemiptera-Auchenorrhyncha.  I might also of mentioned that he, along with Dr Tristan Bantock are the co organizers of Ledra  the BRC National recording scheme for Auchenorrhyncha.  If nothing  else I would love to hear/read  that now admin has been made aware of these facts that Z. pulchra  can now be accepted as the correct and valid name, please.

I think point 2 is also cover in the above, for all my records that are shown as ID'ed by someone else are also Scientist, or at least qualify under the criteria you laid out  above for verifications to be applied. Or atl east an explanation as to why their verifications are not accepted.

Best regards,




Thanks for more details on this - we are looking at the options for improvement.  

You might be interested to know that the NBN Record Cleaner rules for Auchenorrhyncha were established with Alan and those for shieldbugs were established with Tristan. Both Alan and Tristan undertake verification for iRecord.

But unfortunately, the rules are not clever enough to interpret an entry in 'Identified by' as being confirmed by an expert.  Also, we don't currently have a system in place for the rules to learn as new information becomes available (e.g. if species expand in range) so for some groups the rules are out-of-date.  Some rules are in the process of being updated (e.g. butterflies and moths).

all the best

David (previously replied as 'Admin)

I'm afraid I have to agree

I'm afraid I have to agree with Mick Talbot here - The Record Cleaner and the various rules bases it holds and uses are very much out of date and lacking in 'reality'.  Are records garnered from iRecord and used to 'ypdate' the 'known distribution' of species within these rule lists ??   It seems, to me, that they are not as species records which were flagged in 2013 and 20154 are strill being flagged in 2015 (e.g. Scotophaeus blackwalli in Cheshire and Merseyside).  This species is widespread and frequent in the North West area and yet the records for it have been flagged in iRecord for at least 3 years.  Why are the rules lists not updated accordingly by the relevant recording group ??  Sadly, many other species groups appear to act similarly.


I have been a supporter of teh NBN and especially of LRCs for many years but I do feel that this aspect (i.e. output from teh Record Cleaner) is offputting to many recorders, epecially to those with less experience, and is in most cases just plain 'wrong' !



Steve J. McWilliam



Firstly I must thank Steve J. McWilliam for his moral support, thanks.  

Re. verifications, it appears that even if a species is verified by a recognized verifier the next time a record of the same species is uploaded it requires verifying again? The latter would/should only be applied to species, (usually within a genus) which require determination by other means when even the better images cant help.  However should the given ID be validated by microscopic investigation and  that data supplied, and verified,  then any other records of the same species using the same criteria should not be put in abeyance but should be ratified as correct when reviewed. Going back to Re. verifications, the criteria, as just explained, can also be applied to those new records where it can  be found that the ID'ed has previously been verified. Expecting someone, who, like Dr. T. Bantock, is a very busy at most times, to come along and verify species that have already been, could be interpreted as those previously done as dubious. I mean why else should verifiers be asked to confirm something that has already been done and, which should be used as a reference against future uploads of the same species.  

Another point of order: iRecorder advocates the use of iSpot for identification purposes why? For when it is and, that information given in the comments is positive, (and often a link to that affect is also given), why is that not sufficient for a verification? A quick check through iRecorder verified species records (providing there are images)*, would be good enough for that little green tick to go on it. 


Mick E. Talbot.

* Records with  a green tick and no images, what's that all about?  

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