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Invertebrate Paleontology Department

Collection Policies

Ethical Considerations

The curatorial and collections staff and associated Departmental students must maintain a standard of conduct and display an attitude toward the collections that avoids even the appearance of conflict of interest in collection activities. The areas described below are particularly vulnerable to unintentional or degrees of violation which this policy proposes to clarify.

A. Appraisals

No staff member shall make monetary appraisals if the Museum is involved in any way in obtaining or wishing to obtain the material in the future for the MCZ collections. Outside appraisers may be named if requested without showing favor for any particular appraiser. Any staff member who is requested to make contractual agreements for appraisals of fossil invertebrates may do so only if there is no intention of MCZ interest in adding the material to the permanent collections but caution is advised in this area. Appraisal for scientific value is not restricted but rather encouraged.

B. Personal Collections

No staff member involved with the collections shall form or expand personal collections of invertebrate fossils. All specimens collected or acquired while in the employ of or associated with the Department remain as acquisitions or accessions of the Department unless released under the provisions of this policy for deaccessioning or disposal of specimens. It is the responsibility of the Department staff owning such collections to demonstrate that they are not expanding, enhancing or, in any way, competing with any function of the Department or using their affiliation with the Department to further such collection activities.

C. Student Collections

In following with the preceding statement particular attention is needed concerning student collections. Any collections made while funded by the Department or University and any collections made for use in areas of a student's research leading to the degree remain the property of the Department until released by the staff. Guidelines are provided here but are flexible by staff agreement in considering individual cases

  1. All specimens identified in any way in any publication by a student supported by the Museum or involved with research while "in residence" will be published with MCZ numbers and remain the property of the Museum.
  2. Any specimen identified in any way in thesis or dissertations will remain the property of the Museum. It should be noted that a liberal loan policy will be employed if the post-graduate student plans to continue work with the specimens for publication. Such loaned specimens will be published with MCZ designated numbers.
  3. Specimens not falling in the above catagories but collected during thesis or dissertation work or on field work funded/or partially funded by the Museum will be released to the student if not needed to enhance the Departmental collections.