Correcting errant records

Jump to:

  1. An Image example
  2. An Occurrence Record example

Most images and all occurrence records are delivered to individual profiles by the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA). These records (images or occurrences) come from Australian Herbaria provided to the ALA, and there can be errors at a few steps in the process to deliver these records to the public. A given herbarium will give a record a “provided” species name, which the ALA will take and fit into their taxonomic systems and give it a “matched” or “processed” name.

Common problems include:

  1. Mistakes with the original herbarium data: e.g. geocode errors.
  2. Problems with the way the ALA is processing the taxon names provided to them.

This guide will give you a quick run down on how to identify the problem and report it. But all corrections follow the same generalised format:

  1. Identify the errant record.
  2. Follow the record through the ALA or AVH portal to determine the error
  3. Use the provided “Flag an Issue” buttons to write an informative description of how and why the record needs to be fixed.

Image example: Digitaria on Proteaceae profile

Images on the Flora of Australia come from a) the Australian Plant Image Index (APII) curated at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, or b) through specimen photos on the AVH. The example below comes from the AVH.

Image of grass Digitaria ternata (Poaceae) associated incorrectly with the Proteaceae profile.

Somehow, Digitaria ternata, a grass, turned up on the Proteaceae profile page.

The first thing to do is remove the image from public display on the affected profile(s). To do this you need to go into edit mode for the profile, and scroll down to the Images section.

Click the yes/no switch and ensure that the No is Red. Then make sure to Save changes.

Alternatively, if the image isn’t very wrong (e.g. a species is misidentified in a genus profile) you may correct the identification using the Alternative Caption on the right of the image.

Turning an image off from public view.


To find out more about how this happened, click on the image and a new window will appear with more information.

Window with image metadata

This window provides a link to the ALA, who serve the Flora of Australia all its images. Click on “View the record in the ALA” to get more details about this record.

This will take you to the record page on the ALA website, and provides a lot of information about how the record was provided to the ALA, and then how they interpreted that information to fit it within those systems.

The page will provide a direct comparison of the original and ALA processed values (top right button: “Original vs processed values”), and a summary of the data in tables.

ALA record page for Digitaria ternata recorded as Helicia glabriflora

In this example, the record has been provided to the ALA as Helicia glabriflora, a member of the Proteaceae family, which is why it is turning up on the Proteaceae page.

To correct this, use the button “Flag an issue” at the top left hand side of the page, and write a description of the problem.

Flagging the issue with an adequate description of the problem


NOTE: For errant images derived from the Australian Plant Image Index, please contact and provide links to the image from the Index (not the eFlora) and a description as to why it is wrong.

Occurrence records

When viewing or editing the Occurrence Records, there may be problems with the name or location of a record.

In this example on the Proteaceae profile, there are many records that occur in the ocean, which is not the typical habitat of members of the Proteaceae.

Proteaceae distribution map showing occurrences in the middle of the estuary of the Hawkesbury River.

Then, to find out information about the incorrect records, go the AVH and search for the same taxon, in this case: Proteaceae. Then find your errant records here. Each dot can be clicked on and more information can be obtained.

AVH portal for Proteaceae showing metadata for the marine records.

If you view this page, it has an identical format to the one on the ALA image record page above.

AVH Record Page showing the associated data.

In the same way as the images, use the top left “Flag an issue” button to write a description of the problem with the record.

If there are multiple errant records, make a note of their Accession numbers and include them in your “flag an issue” or directly contact the institution curator with your list of problems.

Jump to:

  1. An Image example
  2. An Occurrence Record example