Effective date: April 2009
The operation of the collection and associated responsibilities and guidelines are outlined in "Policies for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's National Biological Research Collections", the most recent iteration of which was approved by curators and management and distributed in April 2008. The Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes (CNC) is part of an international cooperative network involving loan of preserved specimens and exchange of information and preserved specimens especially for taxonomic research and to permit authoritative identification of invertebrates, especially those of economic importance (for example pest and beneficial species).
CNC specimens are, in principle, available on loan for any scientific research that does not infringe on their safety and integrity as archival objects. The following conditions apply:
- Loans are ordinarily made to institutions and not to individuals. These institutions exist as a world wide cooperative network sharing material and information. The borrowing institution and associated staff accept responsibility for the safekeeping and timely (see no. 6 below) return of the loaned specimens. Loans to individuals not associated with institutions may be possible contingent on approval by the appropriate CNC curator and the Collections Manager.
- The CNC reserves the right to determine whether or not a specimen is able to travel, including but not limited to delicate, rare or unique specimens, and to loan only a portion of the holdings of any taxon at one time. If necessary, the remainder of the holdings of the taxon can be sent on loan upon safe return of the initial loan.
- Researchers are encouraged to visit the CNC when their loan requests involve large holdings. They can then examine specimens on site and thus reduce costs and danger to specimens resulting from shipping material unnecessarily.
- Specimens on loan must not be forwarded to a third party or relocated from the institution to which they were loaned, unless permission is granted from the appropriate CNC curator or Collections Manager and with written agreement of the institutions concerned.
- The formal loan request should be sent to the appropriate CNC curator or Collections Manager including precise nomenclature, taxonomic, geographic and/or other pertinent information in order that the requested material can be forwarded as promptly as possible. State the name(s) of the researcher(s) on whose behalf the loan is to be made and include a statement which describes the nature of the investigation.
Loans are normally made for a period of one year; however, this duration may be modified at the discretion of the appropriate curator. Loans should be returned at the earliest opportunity and partial returns are acceptable. An extension of the loan period may be requested if required, as long as the request is made at least two weeks prior to the due date of the original loan.
Correspondence regarding loans should be made with the appropriate CNC curator. Loans of Primary Type specimens are normally made for a period of three months. We reserve the right to request the return of CNC material at any time.
- Upon receipt of a loan, one copy of the loan form (see page 4) must be signed, dated and returned to the appropriate curator. Loans to students are made out to the student's major professor who must sign the loan form accepting responsibility for the safety of the specimens
- It is the responsibility of the loaning institution to ensure that all specimens on loan are stored under conditions necessary to ensure their protection from moisture, pests and other damage. Note: The consequences of any lack of attention to these conditions, for example, leading to unreasonable damage or loss of specimens, will result in limited future access to CNC specimens.
- The dissection or alteration of any specimen, including coating for SEM or sampling for chemical, molecular or other analyses, clearing, staining or the use of any destructive technique, remounting of any specimen (pinned or slide), or modification of labels must be approved in writing by the appropriate curator. Should any specimen become damaged, the broken parts must be re-associated with the specimen in a manner that maximizes the visible aspects of all parts and ensures no further damage to the part or the specimen. Intentionally removed parts must be documented, preserved and returned with the parent specimen. Contact the appropriate curator if advice is required. Any damage to primary type material must be reported immediately to the appropriate curator.
- Primary Type specimens are irreplaceable and should be handled and stored with special care that recognizes their unique importance to science.
- Part of the responsibility of the borrower is to confirm and/or increase the level of identification of borrowed CNC material. Never remove previous identification labels unless by consent from the appropriate CNC curator. New identification labels should be added below the lowest label for pinned specimens and on the opposite side of the microscope slide for slide mounted specimens. They should be legibly handwritten or typed on acid-free paper in permanent, indelible, archival quality ink and their size should be minimized. Identification labels should include the name of the Taxon and author(s), as well as the identifier's name and the year of the identification.
- Never write on existing locality or identification labels.
- Additional information about a specimen such as comments on identity, structure, nomenclature etc. can be written on an additional label which should be placed below the lowest identification label for pinned specimens, or very clearly written on a restricted space on an already existing label for slide-mounted specimens.
- When listed in a publication, all Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada specimens should be cited with the accepted entomological acronym "CNC". We appreciate receiving notice and reprints/pdfs of all publications that include CNC material. These can be sent to the appropriate curator.
- When CNC specimens are designated as primary types, the appropriate CNC curator must be notified. A CNC Primary Type Data Sheet (see page 4) must be fully completed and returned to the appropriate curator who will ensure that the information is given to the Collections Manager to be added to the CNC primary type database. In cases in which the complete citation is not known, the journal title should be included with the phrase "volume, issue and page numbers to be determined". It is the responsibility of the borrower to contact CNC once the full citation is known. Failure to do so could result in restrictions to future borrowing of material.
- If label data of CNC specimens are databased the appropriate curator must be provided with a duplicate copy of the CNC specimen data that can be included in the CNC's specimen/type databases.
- Prior to returning the specimens, the appropriate curator should be notified by phone or email. Returned specimens should be packed as well as they were when received. Use of the original packing material is advantageous. Should alternate packaging be used, please ensure that the inside box has plenty of packing material between it and the outside box. Vials, microscope slides or other heavy objects should not be placed in the same inner box as pinned specimens. All inner boxes within a package should be placed inside a ziplock bag or inside multiple bags that are held together by tape or elastic so that none of them can be overlooked amongst the packing material. A copy of the loan form should be included inside the ziplock bag. All packages should bear the name of the appropriate curator and our address: 960 Carling Avenue, K.W. Neatby Bldg., Ottawa, ON, Canada, K1A 0C6. It is the responsibility of the borrower to ensure that all required paperwork has been completed so that the safety of the specimens is not compromised by mail carriers, couriers and/or customs agents. To ease this process, it is recommended that a fully itemized list of specimens be included in an envelope that is taped securely to the outside of the package and labelled "Detailed contents of package".
In addition, a return address label should be affixed to the outside of the package as well as a label indicating handling instructions and contents of the package, for example: "Handle with extreme care. Dead insects for scientific study. Of no commercial value".
- All loaned specimens must be returned unless written approval for exchange or retention of duplicate specimens has been granted by the appropriate curator. The specimen determination, type status (if any), method of preservation, stage/instar, and all label data must be provided to the curator prior to approval of any exchange or retention.
- All primary types should be returned by Courier (Not Regular Post) unless an alternative method has been agreed to in writing by the appropriate curator. Each primary type should be packaged in its own separate container unless authorized by the appropriate CNC curator.
- Adherence to all applicable laws and regulations for import/export requirements, transport permits and carrier regulations is required for international loans and all documentation necessary to show compliance must be provided by the recipient of the loan.
- Use of loan specimens in projects of a commercial nature requires separate and specific permission from CNC. Please contact the Collections Manager. For the purposes of this document, a "commercial purpose" does not include the sale of research-derived publications that are in public domain. It does include the sale, or transfer or transmission (other than for public-domain research), of unpublished information (for exampmle, list or databases of specimens or taxon attributes) or images, to third parties.
- Specimens and data supplied by CNC as loan or exchange or in response to requests for samples are provided for research purposes. CNC provides no warranty and accepts no responsibility or liability for the suitability of such material or data for any use or study. Assessment of suitability of such material and data for intended use is the responsibility of receiving institutions or researchers.