What is a Central reference?

A central reference has Maintained By Status = C: Centrally. It should also have one of these Accepted Central suffixes. If it doesn't, it's likely that Central will delete or update reference (or perhaps already has!). Only the first 4 are allowed for new references; references with other suffixes are subject to deletion by Central if they are duplicates of records with the first 4 suffixes.

Accepted Central Reference Suffixes

"Headquarters US" (botany)
" International Classification of Ecological Communities" (ecology)
"North America (CA)" (NatureServe Canada)
"North America (US)" (zoology)
"Eastern Heritage Task Force" (older suffix)
"Eastern Regional Office" (older suffix)
"Headquarters CA" (older suffix)
"Midwest Heritage Task Force" (older suffix)
"Midwest Regional Office" (older suffix)
"Rocky Mountain Heritage Task Force" (older suffix)
"Southeast Regional Office" (older suffix)
"Western Regional Office" (older suffix)

Can I use Central references in my ESTs, EOs, etc.?

Program staff are welcome to use central reference records in their records, but there are drawbacks to doing that:

  1. You cannot edit the reference record.

  2. Central could modify the reference at any time. You'll only receive updates to these reference records in data exchanges if Central edits other records that refer to them, so you could get unexpected updates at any time, or your record could be out of synch with Central's copy.

  3. Central could delete the reference at any time. If this happens:

    1. If you then receive the reference deletion during a central-to-local data exchange, there will be an error saying the reference can’t be deleted because it's used, and someone will need to address the error at some point.

    2. In Local-to-Central data exchange, the reference will be removed from Central's copies of your ESTs, EOs, etc.

So if you want total control over the reference, you should create your own reference records for those citations, but if you’re willing to let central control the reference and willing to replace any references that central deletes, go ahead and use central references.

Caveat: if you create a record that you expect Central to take control of, such as a species scientific name or EGT, then attaching Central reference records should not be a problem.

How can I find where central references are used in my ESTs, EOs, etc.?

The attached query "Usage of Central references in local records" shows all places that Central references are used in your locally-maintained records.

I have a Central reference record that's used in hundreds of my records and I want to replace it with my local reference record in all those places. Is there a quick way to do that?

Central can help you to write SQL to do this update. Please contact Kristin Snow (kristin_snow@natureserve.org) or Margaret Ormes (margaret_ormes@natureserve.org) for assistance.