3D Scanning

Generation of 3-D data

For the purposes of tracking specimens which have been scanned to generate 3-D data, the AMNH Division of Paleontology treats CT scanning separately from all other scanning methods.

CT scanning

Permission to scan specimens from the Division of Paleontology must be received in advance, in writing from the relevant curator-in-charge. Once permission to scan has been received, please forward that correspondence to the Director of Collections.

External researchers and AMNH Research Associates will be required to review and sign a user agreement, including “Terms and Conditions for Scans of AMNH Specimens”, relating to the copyright, licensing, use and distribution of the data generated from scanning. AMNH staff, students and post-docs will not be required to sign the user agreement but will be bound by its terms. Please read the terms and conditions carefully.

All specimens to be CT scanned must be treated as a loan since they are leaving the Division.

If the specimens are to be scanned at the MIF at AMNH (by external researchers or non-Resident AMNH Research Associates), we require a minimum of three weeks’ notice in advance of the scanning date in order to prepare the loan. If you anticipate scanning multiple specimens, we will require a longer lead time. Scanning at the MIF is done only by, for, or in conjunction with AMNH research staff.  Time slots on the micro-CT scanner at the AMNH are assigned to curators; occasionally, a curator may elect to provide some of his/her hours to a visiting researcher to scan AMNH specimens here, for collaborative research or for other purposes determined in advance by the pertinent curator. Please contact the relevant curator-in-charge or the curator that you are collaborating with on research. Please note that it is only in exceptional circumstances that time on the AMNH scanner is granted to external researchers.

All Vertebrate Paleontology specimens must be encased in an Ethafoam mount prior to CT scanning. This mount will stabilize and protect the specimens during scanning and can be made in the VP prep lab.

If the specimens are to be CT scanned at a facility outside of AMNH, they will be shipped in their Ethafoam mounts and should not be unpacked before scanning.

At least two weeks prior to your scanning appointment at the MIF (or prior to the shipment of your loan to an external institution), we require that you complete this online form for every AMNH specimen you wish to scan (one form per specimen):

Vertebrate Paleontology
Invertebrate Paleontology

The technicians at the MIF will check to see that the form has been completed prior to the commencement of your scanning appointment. In the case of loans to another institution, the loan will not be shipped until the online form has been completed and approved.

When post-processing work has been completed on your scans, please complete this form:

Vertebrate Paleontology
Invertebrate Paleontology

➤ In summary, these are the required procedures for an external researcher arranging to CT scan AMNH specimens at another institution:

  • Apply for a loan from the relevant curator-in-charge, stating the intent to CT scan the specimens and listing the specimens requested (please be specific about the specimens you have chosen; due to the amount of time we require to prepare specimens for scanning, we expect you to choose which specimens to scan in advance of your loan request).
  • Review, sign, and scan the user agreement if scanning has been approved by the curator-in-charge.
  • If/once the loan and scanning has been approved, contact the Director of Collections, forwarding the loan and scanning approval, and signed user agreement in a single email. Include details of your scanning project e.g. scanning date, list of AMNH specimens to be scanned and the relevant elements, and the maximum dimensions of the scanner you will be using.
  • Fill out the online form (VP; IP) after the Director of Collections has responded.
  • If scanning VP specimens, your loan will be shipped to you in an Ethafoam mount (or mounts). You may not unpack the specimens until after they have been scanned. You should return the loan in the same Ethafoam mount(s).
Please print this checklist and use it to record your progress in the application process.

 

➤ In the rare circumstance that an external researcher is permitted to CT scan AMNH specimens at the MIF facility here, the following procedures must be followed:

  • Apply for a loan from the relevant curator-in-charge, stating the intent to CT scan the specimens and listing the specimens requested (please be specific about the specimens you have chosen; due to the amount of time we require to prepare specimens for scanning, we expect you to choose which specimens to scan in advance of your loan request).
  • Contact the relevant curator-in-charge for permission to borrow and scan the specimens and request time to be allocated to you on the AMNH CT scanner (the latter is dependent on the curator assigning some of their scanning time to you, if they have unused time available).
  • Review, sign, and scan the user agreement via email if scanning has been approved by the curator-in-charge.
  • Then contact the staff at the MIF to arrange a scanning date.
  • If/once the loan and scanning has been approved, contact the Director of Collections, forwarding the loan and scanning approval, and signed user agreement in a single email. Include details of your scanning project e.g. scanning date, list of AMNH specimens to be scanned and the relevant elements. This contact should be made at least three weeks in advance of your scanning date at MIF.
  • Fill out the online form (VP; IP) (at least two weeks in advance of your scanning date at the MIF) after the Director of Collections has responded.
  • If scanning VP specimens, they will be given to you in an Ethafoam mount. You may not unpack the specimens from their mount(s) until you have returned them to the relevant staff member in the Division.
Please print this checklist and use it to record your progress in the application process.

 

Non-CT scanning

Permission for surface scanning, photogrammetry, MRI, synchrotron and all other scanning of AMNH specimens which has the potential to generate 3-D data must be received in advance, in writing from the relevant curator-in-charge. Once permission to scan has been received, please forward that correspondence to the Director of Collections.

External researchers and AMNH Research Associates will be required to review and sign a user agreement, including “Terms and Conditions for Scans of AMNH Specimens”, relating to the copyright, licensing, use and distribution of the data generated from scanning. AMNH staff, students and post-docs will not be required to sign the user agreement but will be bound by its terms.

Prior to scanning the specimens, we require that you complete this online form for every AMNH specimen you wish to scan (one form per specimen):

Please contact the Director of Collections if you plan to request permission to scan more than 10 specimens during a single scanning session.

The form must be completed prior to the shipment of a loan if the scanning is to be performed at an external institution.

➤ In summary, these are the required procedures for an external researcher arranging to scan (non-CT) AMNH specimens during a visit to the AMNH collections:

  • Contact the relevant curator-in-charge for permission to scan the specimens at the same time you schedule your visit.
  • Review, sign, and scan the user agreement via email if scanning has been approved by the curator-in-charge.
  • Once your visit and request to scan specimens have been approved, contact the Director of Collections, forwarding the visit and scanning approval, and signed user agreement in a single email.
  • Fill out the online form after the Director of Collections has responded.
Please print this checklist and use it to record your progress in the application process.

 

➤ An external researcher arranging to scan (non-CT) AMNH specimens at another institution must follow these steps:

  • Apply for a loan from the relevant curator-in-charge, stating the intent to scan the specimens, the scanning methods and listing the specimens requested (please be specific about the specimens you have chosen; due to the amount of time we require to prepare specimens for loan, we expect you to choose which specimens to scan in advance of your loan request).
  • Review, sign, scan and return the user agreement via email if scanning has been approved by the curator-in-charge.
  • Once your loan and request to scan specimens have been approved, contact the Director of Collections, forwarding the loan and scanning approval, and signed user agreement in a single email.
  • Fill out the online form after the Director of Collections has responded.
Please print this checklist and use it to record your progress in the application process.

 

A note on AMNH catalog numbers

All specimens sent out on loan are assigned AMNH catalog numbers. If you are scanning a specimen at AMNH and it has a field number (e.g. PB-458) or a Frick number (e.g. CLAR-45-7896), but does not have an AMNH catalog number, please contact the Director of Collections prior to scanning, for assignment of a catalog number.  No specimens will be loaned for external scanning without prior assignment of a catalog number.

How to cite AMNH catalog numbers in publications (using an example number of “12345”)

Fossil Amphibians, Reptiles and Birds: AMNH FARB 12345
Fossil Fish: AMNH FF 12345
Fossil Invertebrates: AMNH FI 12345
Fossil Mammals:
         If the specimen was originally part of the Frick collection: AMNH F:AM 12345
         If the specimen was not part of the Frick collection: AMNH FM 67890
Fossil Plants: AMNH FP 12345

Please contact the Director of Collections if you have any questions.

Copyright, Licensing, Use and Distribution of 3-D data generated from specimens in the AMNH Division of Paleontology collections

3-D data generated from CT and all other scanning technologies

Prior to scanning a specimen, if scanning has been approved by the pertinent curator-in-charge, you will be required to complete, sign, scan and return the user agreement, including “Terms and Conditions for Scans of AMNH Specimens”, via email to the Director of Collections.

As set forth in AMNH’s “Terms and Conditions for Scans of AMNH Specimens”, AMNH retains copyright ownership of images, scans, raw data, pre-processed data, rendered data, and all derivatives of its specimens, including photos, molds, x-rays, and printed casts. Other aspects of the scanning permission are detailed in that agreement.

When publishing results from your research, you must cite attribution to AMNH and cite AMNH catalog numbers, according to the guidelines above and in the Terms and Conditions for AMNH Specimen Scans.

Publication of scans and related data from AMNH Paleontology specimens is expressly permitted only in peer-reviewed academic publications that allow AMNH to retain copyright of those data.

If you wish to upload CT scan data to an online repository, you may do so only in a repository that allows tracking and restriction of downloads and offers an alternative option to choosing a Creative Commons license, and that meets the AMNH conditions for posting/uploading into the repository. Creative Commons licensing is not allowed for AMNH specimens, unless separately agreed upon by AMNH in advance and in writing.

We suggest using Morphosource.org as an online repository for hosting scans of AMNH specimens.  When using Morphosource.org, you must specify “American Museum of Natural History” as the Copyright Holder of your scan or derivatives.  For the Copyright Permission field, select “Permission to use media on MorphoSource granted by copyright holder”, and for the Copyright License field, select “Media released for one time use, no reuse without permission”. When releasing data to public searches of the archive, settings that restrict download of data without permission must always be used.  All requests for downloads must be approved directly by AMNH staff; please enter the contact details of the Director of Collections who will review requests to download data.

Transfer of both the raw data and pre-processed data (e.g. tiff, jpeg, dicom files) to AMNH must take place no later than one year from the scanning date, as detailed in the “Terms and Conditions for Scans of AMNH Specimens”.

For AMNH specimens borrowed and scanned at an external institution, AMNH will not use those scans and accompanying data, except for internal/archival use, for a period of three years from the scanning date unless otherwise agreed upon with the borrower. However, the AMNH (or other AMNH-approved entities) is in no way limited or restricted from creating their own scans from the same specimens in that time period.

There is no embargo on AMNH’s use of any scans or data created from an AMNH specimen at the MIF scanning facility at AMNH.

Photographic images and other 2-D data

Use of images of AMNH specimens is for scientific research only. Images may not be used for commercial purposes without advanced written consent from the AMNH. Please contact the Director of Collections if you wish to publish images for commercial use.

Failure to follow these guidelines may result in forfeiture of future collection privileges or other actions.