Find out more about data flow through RECORD's systems.

Data entry and preparation

Smaller datasets which are emailed to us rather than entered straight into Swift are entered into Swift by our Data Processor Volunteers. This often involves reformatting the data to extract the information needed to make biological records. Any very large datasets are prepared ready to go straight into our main database rather than through Swift. Data from iRecord also goes straight into the main database after re-formatting.

Data cleaning

When data is submitted to Swift we receive a notification and are able to download the file as an excel spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is checked and, if necessary, cleaned by our Data Team. Cleaning involves looking through closely and rectifying any errors - for example we look out for record types which don't match our standard list, information in the comments which should be within the main record fields and any records including multiple sex/stages which need splitting up. We receive hundreds of file submissions through Swift every month so this can be a lengthy process!

Data importing

Once ready, the downloaded spreadsheets are 'Imported' into our main database (known as 'Recorder 6'). Here, further cleaning can sometimes take place.


Verification of data can occur at any point along the data journey. Verification involves experts such as County Recorders checking over the data submitted to us. They'll be looking for any species records which seem unusual; for example species not commonly recorded in our area or species recorded at unexpected times of the year. Any records which don't pass verification checks are archived whilst we investigate them. If possible we will follow these records up with the original recorder, who may be able to provide further evidence (such as a photo) to support the identification. The verification process helps us ensure that records are as accurate as possible, but please bear in mind that verifiers are almost always volunteers. This means that it can take some time for data to be verified.

Data requests

We process most of our data requests using data stored in another system, which incorporates data from our main database. This system allows us to filter out the appropriate records for each request (for example records from a certain area, from a certain species group etc.) and present them in a format appropriate for the situation. Further checks and data cleaning happen at this stage of the process, to make sure we're providing high quality data products. You can find out more about the different users of RECORD data here.

RECORD - Local Environmental Records Centre,
Cedar House,
Caughall Road,

01244 383749
Charity number: 1095859
Company number: 04046886
VAT number: 455 8632 62

An ALERC member

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