Date displays in the collection record

I love the option to choose full, month/year, and year options for dates. But I think it is misleading, when I choose just ‘year’, save, then the field is displayed as ‘full-date’ with 01-01 for month and year. I would propose for the date fields, that the collection object display the dates in the format they were entered.

What happens if the “full-date” record is exported? does it go out as “1891-01-01”, this would be bad-data on most occurrence-based sites like GBIF.

Adding collection year:

After I save, is displayed:

BUT wait, this gets a bit strange, I started playing around with the record to edit it, and if I go back and select ‘Year’ again, and save, the record displays year only!

It seems like the system is treating the drop-down ‘toggle’ and the date entry as 2 separate edits (or something?)

actually, you know what would be AMAZING, is if I only enter the ‘year’ (or year-mm) and Specify automagically selected the format…

So if I paste in ‘year’ and hit save, the format-field would ‘pick’ year… :smiley:

Just ideas to kick around.

That “toggle” is actually not a toggle, but a pick list field and it contains the date precision, not the format. Databases cannot handle incomplete dates, so they always store complete dates. So, if the day is not known the date is stored as the first day of the month and if the month is also not known as the first day of the year. The date precision is needed to know whether a value of ‘2013-01-01’ is the first of January 2013 or 2013.

I can not repeat the behaviour in your second screen shot in my Specify instance. For me, ‘Year’ and ‘2013’ saves correctly.

I choose data integrity over ease of data entry any time, so I like the validation that the way dates are handled in Specify forms provides and the extra work that people need to do to enter an incomplete date. I do not want our users to be able to save an incomplete date unless they specifically indicate that it is an incomplete date.