Online Data Entry Frequently Asked Questions

The long wait is finally over! REEF is proud to announce the launch of an online data entry interface for surveys conducted in the tropical western Atlantic (other regions will follow in the coming year). With over 2,000 survey forms received by REEF HQ each month, this new service will both improve efficiency and reduce rising costs of processing data. The program will eliminate many of the common clerical errors and will note potential species errors based on existing REEF data.

When and how?
Beginning in January 2005, members can go online to http:://www.reef.org/dataentry and enter data for surveys conducted anywhere in the western Atlantic. You will log in using your REEF member number and last name.

Will the data immediately be added to the REEF database?
No, similar to data submitted via scanforms, REEF staff will run the data through error checking programs first. However, overall processing time will be greatly reduced.

What if I have trouble with my Internet connection?
As you progress through the screens using the Next and Back buttons, your entries will be saved. If you lose your Internet connection or need to logout before finishing, the information will be there to complete and submit when you log back in.

Can I make changes to a survey after I submit the information?
No, once you submit a survey, you will no longer have access to the record to make changes.

How can I keep track of the surveys that I submit online?
Each survey submitted will be assigned a survey number that will be shown on the final confirmation page; this unique number is similar to the form number printed on each paper scanform and should be kept for your records. You can use your browser’s print function to print the final review page.

What if I do a survey from a location not yet in REEF’s database?
In order to submit a survey, REEF must have an 8-digit geographic zone code for the site in our database. To have a code assigned, contact REEF HQ prior to entering your survey online.

Can I enter data to my computer while not online?
You must be connected to the Internet in order to enter data through this interface. REEF is hoping to create a companion software program in the future to enable data to be entered while offline that can be uploaded and submitted during a later Internet session.

Will I still be able to submit data using the paper scanforms?
Yes, REEF will continue to provide and process paper scanforms.

What if I have more questions?
Visit http://www.reef.org/dataentry/information.

We hope that you find our online data entry process easy and efficient. Please feel free to contact REEF at data@reef.org with any comments you may have.