Collection numbers

Frederick W. Schueler bckcdb at ISTAR.CA
Sun May 23 16:18:07 CDT 1999

christoffer Schander wrote:
> " Give the plant the collection
> number "23059924" meaning it is the 24th specimen you
> collected on 23 May 1999. Totally unambiguous, unless you
> are in botany for over 100 years"
>  this way is NOT totally unambiguous since different parts
> of the world  write the date differently. Joe seems to favour DDMMYY
> - in Scandinavia we  write YYMMDD so it is a great possibillity for
> confusion: 11030312 is it no. 12 collected 2011 March 03 0R number 12
> of March 11 2003 - or is it some other combination ..... I could have
> started with the number followed by the date you know.

* in such systems it reduces ambiguity if you include all four digits of
the year. A little longer to write, but the four digitso fhte year go a
long way to explain what the format is. I use '1999/063/ba' for the first
species recorded at the second station on the 63rd page of my field notes
for 1999 (Orconectes virilis found dead in the Rideau river at Carleton

fred schueler.
         Eastern    Ontario    Biodiversity    Museum
                Grenville Co, Ontario, Canada
(RR#2 Oxford Station, K0G 1T0) (613)258-3107   bckcdb at

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