Donating Specimens – Assignment of USNM catalog numbers
Invertebrates maintained in the department collections are acquired principally as the result of field work by members of the staff and as gifts from scientific organizations, colleagues, and private individuals. They also may be acquired through exchanges, bequests, purchase, or transfers from government agencies. Material must have adequate scientific documentation or there must be some other significant factor (e.g. rarity, exhibition quality, etc.) to justify its acquisition. In the case of donations, a signed Deed of Gift which itemizes and distinctly describes the specimens must be provided by all donors. The Deed of Gift certifies that the donor is the legal owner of the donated material, and that all specimens were legally acquired.
The acquisition of specimens is usually left to the discretion of the Research Zoologist whose area of responsibility includes the taxa in question. A Research Zoologist shall not accept any specimens collected in violation of international, local, state, or Federal regulations or in violation of the Lacey Act or the Endangered Species Act. Nor shall this Museum accept any specimens or collections for which there exists reasonable proof that they were obtained illegally or unethically. Information about the scope of national and international wildlife laws can be found at the USFWS site.
We would prefer that donors notify us of their intention to donate specimens to the Museum prior to sending the specimens and prior to citing, in any publication, the Museum as the repository of the specimens.
Assignment of USNM catalog numbers
As a service to the systematic community we routinely accept, catalog and curate designated type specimens for all extant invertebrate taxa (except brachiopods, foraminifera, insects, myriapods, and non-marine chelicerates). Please do not send your manuscript type specimen(s) to us for deposit until you have submitted your manuscript with the species description to a journal for publication. As soon as you have been advised that your manuscript has been accepted, ship your specimens (following ALL US DOT, IATA and FedEx hazardous materials packing and labeling protocols) to us with a copy of the editor's acceptance letter, specimen collection data, and a signed Deed of Gift. As soon as we receive the specimen(s) with collection data and a signed Deed of Gift, we will provide you with USNM numbers. Please send the Collection Manager two reprints or a pdf of each paper resulting from USNM deposited type specimens.
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