Collector order in groups and multiple collectors

I concerned by the ordering (or lack of ordering) when multiple collectors are displayed in S7.

For botanical collections, the order (particularly the first named collector) has important assumptions. A collecting group with the collectors names in different orders is considered ‘different’ than the same group of people with their names in different orders.

I am reconciling duplicate records, and found this interesting example. In S6, the group order, and order that the collectors are displayed, match the order in which the user enters them. In both of these cases, S7 is displaying them in a way that mis-represents the information.

Label info:

Collectors entered individually displayed:

Group created:

Can someone explain the ‘logic’ that is controlling the displayed names? I experimented with entering things in different orders, but it wasn’t clear to me, particularly in the case of the group (where it is VERY unlikely that ‘et al.’ would have been entered in the middle).

This is particularly relevant in understanding how this information is compiled for data exports.

**Interestingly, when I change the display to ‘subform’ instead of grid in the record where they are entered individually, the appeared in the ‘correct’ order (which is great, but somehow bad that they are in different orders depending on the view). AND, when I did this in the group, they stayed in the same (wrong) order (regardless of form or grid view).

Hello @HeatherC ,

The order that collectors are displayed in is determined by their Collector ID, a hidden field on the Collector table. Using your example:

Similarly, the order that group members are displayed in is determined by their Group ID, a hidden field on the Group Person table:

Please let us know if you have any further questions!


The examples/screenshots provided are in the query results. For query results, I don’t think it particularly matters, as it is generally understood that the query view is a particular view of the records. I was referring to the order that the collectors are displayed in the record form/view, as well as members of a group. When viewing the information for a particular collection object/record, this is not trivial at all. For botany collectors, the order of the collectors is a vital piece of information that MUST be presented in the order that it occurs on the label, not alphabetically, or by a hidden ID. For this info to be presented otherwise (in the record/collection object view) is akin to data corruption. There needs to be a way for users to identify the correct order that the collectors are listed on the label. In my experience, Specify6 always displayed this in the order they are entered.

This will be solved in the next Specify 7 major point release! Our fix has been tested and now is available on the latest version of Specify 7 edge.

This update will be available for you very soon!