Oklahoma State University Collection of Vertebrates provides loans of skins, osteological material, and fluid-preserved specimens for scientific research and some types of educational activities.  Bird nests and eggs and type specimens from all groups are not loaned.  Any invasive procedures (e.g., removal of stomach contents, reproductive organs, wing punches) are not permitted without written permission of the appropriate curator via the Destructive Loan Policy.  If permission is granted to remove parts of specimens (e.g., stomach contents) these parts must be labeled with the OSU COV catalog number and returned to OSU COV along with the specimens.  Researchers interested in loans of frozen tissues or destructive sampling should refer to those policies.

Specimen loans are made only to faculty, curators, and research personnel at institutions with adequate facilities to house and care for specimens for the duration of the loan.  Loans to students are made only through their research advisor and requests must be co-signed by the research advisor.  Loans to persons not affiliated with an institution will be considered on a case-by-case basis if those persons have made prior arrangements with a curator at an institution to act on their behalf to receive and maintain material.

Use in Research
All requests for loans of specimens must be made in writing as a letter of request on institutional letterhead, and addressed to the appropriate curator.  If the request is from a student researcher, the letter must be co-signed by the faculty advisor.  Requests should contain a brief summary of the research plan including justification for use of samples from OSU COV.  This letter should specifically but briefly address:

  1. Objectives of the project
  2. Potential scientific value of the project
  3. Feasibility and timeframe for the project
  4. Availability of materials from other sources
  5. Methods of analysis
  6. Qualifications of the researcher(s) performing laboratory work
  7. Nature of material requested, including taxon, number of samples or specific OK numbers, geographic location if relevant, and desired method of transport

Evaluation of Requests
Requests will be reviewed by curators on a case-by-case basis in accord with the following criteria:

  1. Amount of material available in OSU COV
  2. Rarity and replaceability of materials
  3. Amount and number of requested samples
  4. Availability of material from other sources including field collections and efforts of researcher(s) to obtain those materials
  5. Demonstrated ability of researcher(s) to perform proposed work
  6. Assurance that researcher(s) have met legal requirements associated with receiving materials

Loan Agreement
If the loan request is approved, researcher(s) must comply with the following terms and conditions for use of OSU COV materials.

  1. The borrower must sign and return a copy of the loan invoice to acknowledge safe receipt of loaned specimens.  Any damage that may have occurred in transit must be reported on that loan invoice.  The borrower is liable for damage that occurs during handling and use of specimens.
  2. When specimens are returned to OSU COV, they should be shipped in the same container, insured for the same value, and by use of the same commercial or federal carrier as the original shipment.
  3. Should identification of specimens be changed by the researcher(s), those new designations should be provided to the appropriate OSU COV curator when specimens are returned.
  4. OSU COV should be acknowledged in any presentations and publications containing data derived from OSU COV specimens. Acknowledgement should follow the format, “Oklahoma State University Collection of Vertebrates”.
  5. Researcher(s) will provide to OSU COV reprints of any published work containing data derived from OSU COV specimens.
  6. Researcher(s) will provide copies of all required permits to OSU COV if applicable.
  7. Researcher(s) will provide funds for shipping samples, unless waived by OSU COV curators.

Use in Instruction
All requests for loans of specimens for use in instructional activities must be made in writing on the appropriate form (PDF, DOC), and given to the appropriate curator no less than 10 days prior to the date that materials are needed.  If the request is from a student (TA or RA), the form must be co-signed by the faculty instructor of record.  Requests should contain a brief summary of the plan including justification for use of samples from OSU COV.  Requests should specifically but briefly address:

  1. Course name and number
  2. Purpose for the loan
  3. Time period for the loan
  4. Names and contact information of TAs who will use specimens
  5. Name(s) and contact information of the faculty instructor or record
  6. How and where materials will be stored while they are on loan
  7. Nature of material requested, including scientific or common name and number of samples

Evaluation of Requests
Requests will be reviewed by curators on a case-by-case basis in accord with the following criteria:

  1. Amount of material available in OSU COV
  2. Rarity and replaceability of materials
  3. Amount and number of requested samples
  4. Demonstrated ability of instructor(s) to properly store and handle materials and supervise their use by students

Loan Agreement
If the loan request is approved, instructor(s) must comply with the following terms and conditions for use of OSU COV materials.

  1. The borrower must sign and return a copy of the loan invoice to acknowledge safe receipt of loaned specimens.  Any damage that may have occurred in transit must be reported on that loan invoice.
  2. The borrower is liable for damage that occurs during handling and use of specimens, and must report that damage upon return of specimens,
  3. When specimens are returned to OSU COV, they should be returned in the same container.