“GUID” is short for Globally Unique Identifier, there are various species, the pros and cons of the different types have been discussed widely in the collections and standards communities. Specify GUIDs are “UUIDs” and look like this.
See Wikipedia for more info on UUIDs.
In the biocollections community, GUIDs are useful when publishing to data aggregators such as GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) or iDigBio (Integrated Digitized Biocollections). GUIDs provide a persistent and globally unique way to permanently identify specimen records. By ensuring that collection object records have a unique and persistent identifier, it becomes much easier to link and track the re-use of specimen information for methods providing credit and attribution for data use.
Specify automatically generates GUIDS for all new records in its core tables, such as Collection Object, Preparation, Determination, Locality, and a few others. It does not generate GUIDs for the Taxon table as Specify or any other collection catalog database are not logical sources of authority of Taxon information–name and concept records should use GUIDS minted by accepted global authorities. Taxon GUIDs published by collections databases will never be used or maintained as authoritative IDs in global networks.
Members can read about how to create GUIDs in any table for existing records.
|Table Name||Auto-populate GUID?|