As some surveyors may be aware, the National Plant Monitoring Scheme website makes use of the "indicia" infrastructure for biological recording, as do most of the Biological Records Centre-supported national recording schemes. This allows us to make use of functionality developed elsewhere; for example, within the popular iRecord site for general, ad hoc, biological recording.
An important part of that site is "verification", whereby leading naturalists specialising in particular taxon groups in certain areas (e.g. solitary bees in Wales), check incoming records for errors, and provide feedback on identification. This helps ensure that collected records are of the highest quality possible, and also supports recorder learning and development.
We have, since the scheme's beginning, utilised automatic record checks within the NPMS. Checking, for example, to see whether submitted records are within the known range of a species at the 10 km scale. At certain points, we have also sought feedback from regional experts, and so some records have also acquired ID comments and human verifications. However, up until now, we have not had the infrastructure in place to share this information clearly with NPMS volunteers. We have now remedied this. As an additional option within the NPMS menu, surveyors should now be able to see a "Verification messages" option nested under "My data".
This comprises two tabs: first, any automatic or human-provided messages related to specific records, and, second (shown below), a summary of the verification statuses of all of your occurrence records across all of your NPMS squares.
We hope that this new information will support surveyors in their plant identification journey, providing more confidence in their identifications, and highlighting learning opportunities. Please contact NPMS support if you have any questions about this new facility!