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Contributors, Moderators and Administrators – Responsibilities and the Code of Conduct.

Overview

Budawang Coast Nature Map (BCNM) is a CITIZEN science project. It is not made specifically for professional scientists, though some are contributors and many have found the observations and records made by citizen scientists useful in their research. 

As citizen scientists, we aim to document the natural world and increase our individual and collective knowledge of it.  Citizen scientists work very closely to support professional scientific endeavour and research, however, as a citizen science project, we aim to reflect the natural world in a way that ordinary people can understand – while not compromising the scientific ‘correctness’ of the taxa.

As citizen scientists we are concerned with mapping genera level BIODIVERSITY and if possible, species identification. We aim to identify species to at least 80% accuracy.  

The basis of our project is encouraging community members to share their experiences and sightings to contribute towards mapping biodiversity.  We expect that all contributors will foster collaboration, shared learning and the mentoring of others.  As with all social media, mutual respect and positive communications are essential to their success. There is no room in BCNM or the wider NatureMapr network for rude and uncooperative behaviour, either in terms of process or interpersonal interactions. 

 

Roles and responsibilities

BCNM is an incorporated Association, with an AGM where a Committee of management is elected. It has three levels of membership: 1. Contributor, 2. Moderator, and 3. Administrator. 

1. A Contributor joins online and ticks a box accepting Terms of Use. 

Contributors must not submit contributions that:

• are defamatory, malicious, threatening, offensive, abusive, obscene, or otherwise unlawful or that violate laws regarding harassment, discrimination, racial vilification, privacy or contempt

• are intentionally false or misleading

• are an infringement of copyright or other intellectual property rights

• seek to promote or endorse commercial products or services or to solicit business

• deliberately provoke other community members, or are inappropriate, repetitive or off topic

• compromise one’s privacy or that of other contributors or that contain inappropriate personal information

• compromise sensitive data or confidential information around a particular species or observation.

Contributors should be aware that sightings recorded may remain online indefinitely and that Contributors are legally responsible for their contributions. Children’s Contributions and use of Content should be supervised by an adult.

BCNM Administrators may remove individual sightings from the BCNM website if the above conditions are transgressed. 

As an Incorporated body, we have within our constitution, a documented grievance process which should be the reference point for resolving conflict, should it arise. But in most cases, we would hope to resolve conflicts amicably before we need to resort to these formal approaches. 

 

2. A Moderator is endorsed by the BCNM Management Committee, having been selected for their special knowledge and experience of a particular taxon within the established taxonomic classification system, usually at the level of Family, Genus and Species. 

BCNM does not require Moderators to have professional qualifications, indeed many of our most respected Moderators do not have professional qualifications in their area of expertise. However, all Moderators are expected to be open to debate and alternative opinions and to resolve differences in a professional and respectful manner.

It is expected that Moderators:

• are respectful of the contributor group and other Moderators;

• work collaboratively to improve the accuracy of records, including sharing reference materials, the opinions of other experts and are open and willing to debate identifications with a shared objective of getting the best quality data;

• consult with other Moderators on matters of identification and agree to approaches for making major changes to improve and update the taxonomy;

• mentor and support other less experienced people to grow their skills and, 

• are positively engaged with the project and its contributors, 

Moderators are expected to contribute and debate sightings identifications with others. Where agreement about individual sightings cannot be reached, moderators need only agree on genera.  If there is a problem or conflict with identification, moderators can draw on external networks and moderators/experts in other areas.  

Some Contributors suggest a genus and species. The Moderator carefully inspects the image(s) to be certain that it fits within the existing BCNM taxonomy, (bearing in mind the possibility of hybridity.) If there is doubt, further information or advice needs to be sought from the member or another Moderator. (Another Moderator in one of the other NM projects might also be willing to help)

Moderators also regularly check the Unidentified sightings category on the website. Using the alerts for sightings on the website or those sent by email, it is desirable to support other Moderators with similar knowledge by checking the IDs they have confirmed; open a polite and tactful discussion if you feel there is room for doubt. 

Moderators also work together to keep the taxonomy up to date by responding to requests for an addition to the list. This requires the moderator to complete a new species listing and provide details/links to relevant background information; research on new species listings can draw on the knowledge of other Moderators.  

When there is a need to reorganise or delete items in the taxonomy, this should always be done with the knowledge and full agreement of other relevant moderators.   

 

3. An Administrator has greater access to the platform system than a Moderator and likewise requires the endorsement of the Committee. They have some technical skills and are responsible for:

• responding to members requests 

• the bulk uploading of sightings; 

• customising attributes; 

• customising species lists; 

• defining polygon locations; 

• integrating data with the Atlas of Life Australia; and 

• communicating with the NatureMapr Maintenance Service.

(More… https://naturemapr.org/knowledge-base/category/administrators/ )

The BCNM Management Committee is available to discuss any matters arising from these notes, (or any that we may have missed), through email, to which we will respond within a day or two: budawangcoast@gmail.com

 

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