Fee for services

David Furth MNHEN139 at SIVM.SI.EDU
Wed Apr 26 10:01:02 CDT 1995

Although this reply is a bit late, perhaps some of the information will
be of use. When I was managing the entomological collections at Harvard
University (Museum of Comparative Zooloogy), there was a considerable
number of requests for non-scientific and for-profit use of the
collections and staff time. In 1990 I wrote into the collection policy
there that all such use would necessitate a $50 per hour charge. I
established this fee after consulting with curators and collection
managers from several other similar institutions. This was done to help
defray the actual cost of such services which were not part of the
mission of that collection and partly to disuade the many small time,
casual, non-scientific users (e.g. artists doing bank calendars, etc.).
It was apparent that institutions in larger cities received more of
these types of requests.

Privately as an entomological consultant I charged $75 per hour for more
general projects and $75 per species for identiifications with an
additional $15 per hour for any time over 5 hours spent on a species.

The USDA Systematic Entomology Lab does not charge for identifications
although until recently they did include the value of their service on
the final report. This fee structure was established some time during
the 1980s; however, it may be still of use/interest: routine
identifications = $55 per species; prompt = $85; urgent = $115.

I strongly agree with the response by Lynn Kimsey. The
taxonomic/systematic community has been taken advantage of for too long
and it has always been assumed that we would make identifications
gratis. Of course, this is partly our fault for agreeing to do so. We
have been squeezed out of funding and jobs for a long time and we should
start to become more mercenary. The mission of various institutions is
different and those of us working at certain institutions must make
identifications for our constituency; however, a significant percentage
of the requests for identifications comes from non-constituents and they
should pay. We should not want to take time away from our research or
other aspects of our scientific and even personal lives to do so many
gratis favors.

I also believe that museums and other institutions proposing grants for
improvement of their collections as well as researchers applying for
grant money should include fees for identifications. The granting
agencies shoube made aware of this necessity and be supporting our
expertise. Again, traditionally institutions have solicited the services
of taxonomists for such identifications without pay, other than
transportation and room and board costs - that is not enough, we should
get paid as scientific consultants. Many identifiers have taken their
research time or even perssonal time to go to museums to help them
sort/curate collections. These services should be paid for over and
above subsistence costs. We need to start to get with the way the rest
of the world works.

David Furth
Department of Entomology
Smithsonian Institution

ÿÿ    Fee for services                                                       RU>

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