Scrutiny information serves multiple functions:
- It provides a convenient way for persons who edit the database to provide an explanation for their decisions while editing the database.
- It gives well deserved recognition to those who do the work to make the database accurate.
- It allows those who use the database to know how recently someone reviewed the data for specific taxa.
A scrutiny entry contains three items of information:
- The name or names of the persons who did the work.
- The year in which the work was done.
- A comment, which can be from zero to 1,000 characters long.
When a new scrutiny is added, any previous scrutiny is usually obsolete and should be deleted. Sometimes previous scrutiny entries contain comments that should be retained. Up to three scrutiny entries are permitted for a taxonomic name. If three entries are not sufficient, or if 1,000 characters are not sufficient, the information should be provided as supplementary information, not as scrutiny.