Missing definitions of fields in the eHive wiki

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DanETH
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:11 am

Missing definitions of fields in the eHive wiki

Postby DanETH » Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:14 pm

I am trying out the eHive service to see if it will be appropriate for our small, volunteer staffed historical society located in the USA.

The first thing I am learning to use is the eHive Acquisition Record screen. Some of the Acquisition Record fields are defined in the eHive wiki but many are not. Examples of fields not described in the wiki: Acquisition Source, Acquisition Source Role, Acquisition Method, Acquisition Reason and Acquisition Authority.

In another thread you mentioned that eHive terms are based on the SPECTRUM standard (Is this mentioned in the wiki?) I searched the web and the only thing I can find defining SPECTRUM terms (the SPECTRUM website is useless) was this .pdf from Community Living Victoria:

http://www.communitylivingvictoria.ca/p ... um-3-0.pdf

If you scroll down to page 243 you'll see a list of definitions. Am I supposed to use these SPECTRUM definitions as a guideline? It gets somewhat confusing because I am switching between three screens (Acquisition Record screen, eHive wiki page and the SPECTRUM .pdf) while trying to find and write a definition. Should I assume the Community Living Victoria SPECTRUM definitions are correct? Here is a cut and paste of definitions from their .pdf:

* Acquisition Source - The People, Person or Organisation from whom an object was obtained, if different from the Owner. The Acquisition source may be an agent or other intermediary between the acquiring organisation and the Owner. For archaeological archives, use Acquisition source to record the excavating body responsible for preparing and depositing the archive with the organisation.

* Acquisition Source Role - NA

* Acquisition Method - The means by which title to an object is formally transferred to the organisation. How to record: Use a single term, without punctuation or capitalisation. Maintain a list of standard terms. Examples: gift, purchase

* Acquisition Reason - The reason or justification for an acquisition. How to record: Use normal grammar and punctuation. Examples: This engine is still in working condition and is one of only three still known to exist.

*Acquisition Authority - (?) Is this the same as Acquisition Authorisor? - The name of a member of staff giving final approval for the acquisition to proceed.

I consider instructional documentation to be extremely important when choosing Collection Management Software. It has taken me several hours to locate and study the SPECTRUM definitions .pdf and then write this post on the eHive forum, and I still don't have enough information to know if I am completing the Accessions Record screen correctly. (not to mention all the other screens).

I have narrowed my collection management software candidates down to three - CollectiveAccess, ICA-AtoM and eHive. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses. As far as documentation goes CollectiveAccess is weak, eHive is lacking and ICA-AtoM is outstanding. I am not trying to be harsh but just want to impress on you all the importance of documentation. I would much rather have the developer delay software development for a few days and devote that time to improving the wiki instead.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Like I said, I am not trying to be harsh. I wouldn't take the time to write this if I didn't think eHive was an excellent solution for small organizations like ours. It's just that I can envision a great deal of pushback from my fellow historical society volunteers if they try eHive and find it confusing to use because weak documentation.

Zoe
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 11:29 am

Re: Missing definitions of fields in the eHive wiki

Postby Zoe » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:19 pm

Hi there,

eHive help update
eHive Help documentation is undergoing a revamp at the moment. Soon you will be able to access all of our written help online with up to date instructions and helpful screenshots We will be releasing this in the next couple of months, but here is a small example of the layout so far:

eHive help snapshot.PNG
eHive help snapshot.PNG (99.85 KiB) Viewed 4564 times


SPECTRUM data standard
SPECTRUM is the most widely used standard for defining museum collection data. SPECTRUM is controlled and distributed by Collections Trust in the UK. You can read more about who they are on their website http://www.collectionstrust.org.uk/.

You can find more specific information regarding the SPECTRUM standard on their network site Collections Link, specifically this page of the Collections Link website - http://www.collectionslink.org.uk/programmes/spectrum.

We are SPECTRUM partners with Collection Trust, and our desktop based collection management system, Vernon CMS, is compliant with SPECTRUM version 4. We built eHive in line with the standard, but have not yet undergone compliance testing. You can find general information on both Vernon CMS and eHive on our main company website http://www.vernonsystems.com/.

Acquisition fields
These fields are described briefly on our current help wiki. You can find the link here: http://en.wiki.ehive.com/wiki/Acquisition_Records

This help will be expanded as part of our project to overhaul our existing help on the site. Thank you for your feedback, we know how important documentation is to our users. Right now we are concentrating on the final tweaks to layout and presentation of our new help site, which will be a huge improvement on our current help wiki.

Kind regards,

Zoe

DanETH
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:11 am

Re: Missing definitions of fields in the eHive wiki

Postby DanETH » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:04 pm

Ok, I now see what the problem was.

When you click on the "?" button in the Acquisition Records screen it takes you this wiki page:

http://en.wiki.ehive.com/wiki/Create_screens

So I just started searching under the Object Records "Fields A-G" link to find definitions. Instead I should have clicked on the "Acquisition Record Fields" link. What makes it confusing is that I thought "Fields A-G" link contained definitions of all the terms used in eHive. Instead the "Fields A-G" only contain a subset of the definitions found in the "Acquisition Record Fields" link. (for example, "Acquisition Authority" is not found under "Fields A-G")

I wonder if it would cause less confusion to just list all field definitions together, sort of like an index to a book?

Zoe
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 11:29 am

Re: Missing definitions of fields in the eHive wiki

Postby Zoe » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:34 pm

Hi there,

Absolutely. As part of our new help documentation we will be addressing field help (and links to help). This will be a phased approach as we need to review, expand and re-publish our field help not only as an index, but also grouped into the various eHive catalogue types. This will then mean you can review the fields that are included in, for example, a Natural History record as opposed to an Art record.

Thanks for your feedback and input, we will be rolling out these updates to help soon.

Kind regards,

Zoe

rgschmitt
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:26 am

Re: Missing definitions of fields in the eHive wiki

Postby rgschmitt » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:17 am

Hi -

This is not timely, but I also am new and need cataloging help. I'm also helping a museum get organized and have downloaded the 14 SPECTRUM procedures guides. I just found this, which is the "General International Standard Archival Description", a guide to defintions:

http://www.icacds.org.uk/eng/ISAD%28G%29.pdf

Much to digest!

Bob


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