We are developing a new Record Merging feature that will be arriving in the coming months for all Specify 7 users! We are seeking feedback from the community for development!
With the introduction of Record Merging feature, Specify will make it easier to manage all records in a more efficient way.
For the initial release, we plan to only support the Agent table, but we are planning on next supporting Locality, and eventually all tables in the database.
Record Merging allows users to combine two or more records into one. This feature is especially useful when dealing with multiple records that represent the same person or locality.
For instance, when a user has uploaded a large amount of data that created duplicate agents of the same person, they can now merge the records into one and delete any duplicates, thus keeping their database clean and organized.
Additionally, this feature is also helpful when users have to combine records from different sources which may contain similar information.
Using Record Merging, users can quickly and easily combine records to form a single record. The merged record will contain all desired data from the original records, allowing users to keep the important information from each record, and offers the ability to modify and add information to the newly merged record.
The Record Merging feature can be accessed in the query builder within Specify. After selecting the records to be merged, users can select the Merge Records button and then they will be prompted with the “Merge Records” dialog.
A simple scenario– two agents that are intended to be one person are referenced by a variety of different records. Currently there is no easy way to point all these references to the correct agent, but with the new Merge Records interface it is as simple as selecting the duplicates and merging them in the following dialog:
A more complicated example where many fields in the Agent table differ from each other:
In the following video, you can see the basic functionality of the new merging interface:
You can click on the ＜ buttons to the left of each field’s value to place it in the merged record column.
You can preview the records you are about to merge as well as preview how the newly merged record will be displayed.
All of the items in the leftmost column can be edited as if you are using the forms in the database. These can override the merged data and allow the user who is merging the records to modify the data during the process.
All references to each record are displayed in the “References to this record” row in the merging interface, allowing the user to click on any of the items and display that record.
The formatted display for the table of the records is shown at the top above each column, allowing you to see a preview of how it will be displayed in places where records are shown as formatted.
You can uncheck the “Show conflicting fields only” checkbox to display all fields in that table.
The Merge Records dialog supports theoretically unlimited records selected at once.
Once you are satisfied, you can click Merge to commit the changes.
We would love to hear feedback from the Specify Collections Consortium about our agent merging tool. Please share your thoughts, questions, concerns, or requests with us as we continue to develop this incredible tool.