Guidelines for Acceptable Use of Data

Recommended Citation Formats

Use one of the following formats to cite data retrieved from the SCAN network:
General Citation:
SCAN. 2018. http// Accessed on April 23.
Usage of occurrence data from specific institutions:
Biodiversity occurrence data published by: <List of Collections> (Accessed through SCAN Data Portal, http//, YYYY-MM-DD)

For example:
Biodiversity occurrence data published by: Field Museum of Natural History, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and New York Botanical Garden (Accessed through SCAN Data Portal, http//, 2018-04-23)

Occurrence Record Use Policy

  • While SCAN will make every effort possible to control and document the quality of the data it publishes, the data are made available "as is". Any report of errors in the data should be directed to the appropriate curators and/or collections managers.
  • SCAN cannot assume responsibility for damages resulting from mis-use or mis-interpretation of datasets or from errors or omissions that may exist in the data.
  • It is considered a matter of professional ethics to acknowledge the work of other scientists that has resulted in data used in subsequent research.
  • SCAN expects that any use of data from this server will be accompanied with the appropriate citations and acknowledgments.
  • SCAN encourages users to contact the original investigator responsible for the data that they are accessing. Where appropriate, researchers whose projects are integrally dependent on particular group of specimen data are encouraged to consider collaboration and/or co-authorship with original investigators.
  • SCAN asks that users not redistribute data obtained from this site. However, links or references to this site may be freely posted.

Collection Use Rights

Collection use rights are defined by the individual collection managers. Plese refer to the collection manager if you have any questions.

Collection Rights
Collection Name Rights
Arizona State University Hasbrouck Insect Collection
Colorado Plateau Museum of Arthropod Biodiversity
C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity
Museum of Southwestern Biology, Division of Arthropods not-for-profit use only
National Park Collections at Northern Arizona University
Texas Tech University - Invertebrate Zoology Custom - see collection metadata
University of Colorado Museum of Natural History Entomology Collection
Texas A&M University Insect Collection
New Mexico State Collection of Arthropods
University of Arizona Insect Collection
Denver Museum of Nature & Science All Rights Reserved
Gregory P. Setliff Collection - Kutztown University
Entomology Collection at the Natural History Museum of Utah
Scarab Central: World Scarabaeoidea
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Entomology Collection
Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, Arthropod Collection
Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University
Moth Observations Database Collections
GBIF Arthropods of North America
Hymenoptera Institute Collection


Images within this website have been generously contributed by their owners to promote education and research. These contributors retain the full copyright for their images. Unless stated otherwise, images are made available under the "Fair Use" provision of the U.S. Copyright Law ( They may be used only for personal or educational use and are NOT available for commercial use unless permission is first obtained from the copyright holder. If any image is used in a non-commercial publication, report, or as a web link, one must credit the photographer as well as the name of the website hosting the image. If you have any doubt or questions regarding the use of an image, contact the author or the site manager.

Notes on Specimen Images

Specimens are used for scientific research and because of skilled preparation and careful use they may last for hundreds of years. Some collections have specimens that were collected over 100 years ago that are no longer occur within the area. By making these specimens available on the web as images, their availability and value improves without an increase in inadvertent damage caused by use. Note that if you are considering making specimens, remember collecting normally requires permission of the landowner and, in the case of rare and endangered plants, additional permits may be required. It is best to coordinate such efforts with a local institution that manages a publically accessable collection.
This project made possible by National Science Foundation Award EF 1207371