Retention Policy

Museum of Zoology

University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

Retention Policy

To promote wide dissemination of biosystematic information that is ultimately derived from voucher specimens, the Museum of Zoology of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, is willing to donate specimens to other museums and specialists collaborating with the Museum in the development of its collections.

For specimens already determined, specimens may be exchanged. Exchanges must be beneficial to both institutions. Unicates will not be exchanged. Special restrictions apply to primary types and valuable (non-exempt) specimens.

For undetermined material, duplicates (usually from series with the exact same data) may be retained in recognition of services performed. In determining the appropriate number of duplicates to be retained, consideration will be given to the level of identification provided, the level of preparation performed, and the source of the request for services. The following provides guidelines, and exceptions may be made with the recommendation of the Museum Director, Collections Manager, and local specialists as deemed appropriate. Special requests should be initiated by the Contact Person. 

  • When specimens are prepared and identified with reasonable certainty to species, a specific proportion of duplicate specimens may be retained. However, the Contact Person reserves the right to make exceptions to this policy and to request the return of any or all the desired specimens or substitute other specimens.
  1. If the material was prepared (pinned, spread, slide-mounted, etc.) from a bulk sample, then up to 1/2 of the series may be retained.
  2. If the material was already prepared and the request for identification was made by the Museum, then up to 1/3 of the series may be retained.
  3. If the material was already prepared and the loan was made at the request of the retainer, then up to 1/4 of the series may be retained. 
  • When the portion of specimens to be retained is fractional, the number may be rounded up (1/4 of 2 is a fraction, so 1 specimen may be retained).
  • The retainer will prepare a list of identifications, specimen label data, sex and, if in use, bar codes, for the desired specimens. This information is then returned to the Museum along with the other identified specimens. Upon the receipt of these the Museum will register the desired specimens as being a gift to the retainer. 
  • When the specimens are part of a type series (actual or to be designated), the number of specimens to be retained will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis with the Contact Person, independent of the above rules.