Loan Policy

Compactor storage and display of the Benthic Invertebrate Collection

Compactor storage and display of the Benthic Invertebrate Collection

SIO Benthic Invertebrate Collection (BIC) Research Loan Policy

Specimens housed at the BIC are available for loan for scientific study subject to certain conditions. The preparation and re-incorporation of loan material make heavy demands on staff time and other collection resources. Borrowers are asked to bear this in mind by requesting only those specimens that are essential to their research. Researchers are encouraged to visit the BIC to make an assessment of our holdings. Holotypes, paratypes, one-of-a-kind, or very rare specimens may be limited to inspection at Scripps. 

Loans can be made to qualified individuals through their institutions for the purposes of research, exhibition, or education. Student loans should be made through their supervisors.

Outgoing loans and gifts are accompanied by a loan invoice that describes the specimens, gives the collection data, and shows numerically how many of each species is loaned. The invoice must be signed and returned immediately on receipt of the specimens (electronically is acceptable); this demonstrates safe arrival of the material and will be taken as your further agreement to be bound by BIC’s loan policy.

Loans are normally made for a period of one year, though extensions may be granted upon written request from the loan recipient. The borrower may terminate the loan at anytime by returning the specimens to BIC.

All specimens must be treated with care and stored in suitable environmental conditions when not in use. In particular, specimens sent out in liquid preservative must be maintained in the same medium and not allowed to dry out. Borrowed items must be stored and examined in an area where smoking, food and drink are excluded.

Any technique that alters the physical state of the specimen must be authorized. Such alteration may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Development of specimens from their surroundings or surrounding matrix
  • Removal of any part of the specimen, including tissue samples
  • Sectioning of a specimen in the form of a polished surface or thin section
  • Dissection of the specimen
  • Staining or coating of a specimen for photography, scanning electron microscopy or other purposes
  • Preparation of moulds and casts in any material
  • Sampling for chemical or DNA analysis
  • Removing labels from the loaned items

Any parts removed from a specimen (stomach contents, eggs etc) or any preparation such as DNA extraction made from them must be fully documented and must be returned at the same time as the rest of the loan. All labels must be kept with the specimens and returned with them. Type or cited specimens selected from loaned material must be clearly labeled, and all taxonomic changes or re-identifications must be communicated to the BIC.

The Benthic Invertebrate Collection should be acknowledged in publications resulting from use of material or data. If any loaned specimens are cited or figured in any publication they must carry an appropriate reference, which should include the appropriate institution acronym (e.g. "SIO-BIC A0000" for the specimen with catalog number A0000). Types of any new species described should be deposited in the Benthic Invertebrate Collection here at the Institution in La Jolla, California unless other arrangements have been approved. A reprint of each such publication or report is requested for the collections library.

All the specimens must be returned so as to reach the BIC not later than the date specified on the invoice accompanying the specimens, unless an extension of time has been granted. Loans should be returned at the earliest possible opportunity and preferably in their entirety using a similar transportation method that the specimens were initially shipped to the loanee.

Material loaned and any products generated from loaned specimens may not be transferred to individuals or institutions other than those designated as borrowers without prior written authorization. Loans are intended for research only and should not be for commercial purposes or sale. These and any additional policies as may be determined on a case by case basis, are intended to ensure the Collection remains accessible to and best serves the interests of the academic community.

If the BIC becomes aware that the approved borrower has failed to comply with this policy placed on the loan including, but not limited to, the actions listed below, the BIC shall contact (in writing) the borrower and its institution/ organization, and request that the situation is rectified immediately.

If the approved borrower still fails to comply with this written request, the BIC shall be entitled to terminate the loan and recover the loaned items immediately. Failure to comply with BIC’s loan policy may result in the penalties outlined below:

  • The approved borrower shall have this status revoked.
  • They will not be granted further approved borrower status for a period of no less than 10 years from the date their approved borrower status was revoked.
  • All other loans, of any category to the borrowing institution or any members of it staff may also be terminated and recovered.
  • All future applications from the borrowing institution or members of its staff, for any category of loan, may be refused for a period of no less than 3 years from the date of the research loan termination.

To make a loan request, please contact one of the staff members.