Frequently Asked Questions

General:

I am having problems accessing my account. Help!

What are the system requirements for BNA Online?

How do I play sounds and videos?

What is the EndNote Download for bibliographies?

I cannot seem to find a particular species online. Why?

I am having trouble printing a BNA species - the page doesn't format correctly on my printer. How come?

Can I still purchase hardcopy BNA accounts?

How do I cite the BNA Online datatbase or an individual species account from BNA Online?

I am a Lab Member and when I tried to subscribe I was told my username was already in use. When I logged on to BNA with my Lab username I was able to log on but told I needed to subscribe. Help!

What should I do if I find an error in a species account?

I am an AOU member and cannot access BNA through the AOU. Help!

What's the best way to search for things in BNA?

I want to use a photograph/figure/map/audio/video file I found on BNA for a project. How do I obtain it and get permission to use it?

Why do I have to subscribe to BNA? Why isn't it free?



Network Administrators:

Institutional subscriptions give access to BNA based on registered institutional IP addresses. How do I make BNA available to members of my institution who work off-site with IP addresses that are not registered to the institution?

Librarians:

Is a CD-ROM version of BNA Online available if I cancel my institution's subscription?


1. I am having problems accessing my account. Help!

There are a few possibilities that may be causing you trouble if you are having difficulty accessing your account.

  • The first thing to check is that your user name and password are entered exactly as you registered it. User names and passwords are character and case specific. Thus, if your user name were "BirdLady1" and you entered "birdlady1" into the user name Sign In, BNA would not recognize the incorrect username as yours, because your registered user name had capital letters in it. Double check your registered account information against what you are entering to log in.

  • If you have forgotten your username or password, you can retrieve them by clicking the Sign In button in the upper right corner of the screen, and then clicking the "Forgot Password?" link next to the sign in box. Please note that if you have spam filters on your email account, you will need to allow emails from "bna-sales@cornell.edu" to reach you in order to receive your user name and/or password from us by email. Additionally, please note that the password retrieval will only send your password to the email address you registered your subscription to--if you have switched email accounts since subscribing to BNA, you will need to provide your old email account (if you still have access to it) or contact us directly to be sent your user name/password combination.

  • Another common error in failed log in attempts is that you may have created multiple user accounts unknowingly when attempting to log in. It is possible that in frustrated attempts at guessing a user name or password, a subscriber created an entirely new user profile (or multiple user profiles). Only the account that you registered your payment with at the time of your subscription will be the account's user name and password that will allow you access to the full resource. If you think that you have created multiple user accounts and cannot remember which one is the "real" one, you can use the password retrieval system described above to retrieve it using the email you initially gave during your registration. If you lack this information, you can contact: bna-sales@cornell.edu.

  • If after logging in correctly you see a message in yellow at the top of the screen that reads, "Check My Account for Subscription Status" this means that your subscription may have expired and needs to be renewed in order to view subscriber-only content. You can either renew through the link on your screen, or go straight to the renewal process by clicking on the button below:

  • Renew Now

2. What are the system requirements for BNA Online?

We recommend you use the latest available version of Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari browsers. The minimum required browsers are Internet Explorer Version 6.0 or higher, Firefox 1.5 or higher, and Safari 2.0 or higher. Users must have cookies and JavaScript enabled for full functionality.  You will also need to have pop-ups enabled for our site in order to view audio, video, figure and photographic content.  BNA Online will run effectively via any internet connection but a broadband connection is required for accessing the audio and video.

To download the latest version of Internet Explorer, go here:
http://microsoft.com/windows/ie/default.asp

To download the latest version of Firefox, go here:
http://www.mozilla.com/en-US

To download the latest version of Safari, go here:
http://www.apple.com/safari/

3. How do I play sounds and videos?

BNA-Online uses streaming Quicktime files to deliver audio and video. To listen to audio or to view the videos you will need to have the free, Quicktime plug-in installed for your browser. We require QuickTime 7.0 or higher. Here is a link to download Quicktime.

download Quicktime

Many videos do not have sound associated with them. You may need to quit and restart your browser after installing the player prior to using it to play audio or video on our site for the first time.

Note: A broadband (not dial-up) connection is required. If you are accessing these accounts via a dial-up connection and would like to view the videos, try accessing the accounts from a public library or university.

4. What is the EndNote Download for Bibliographies?

EndNote is a bibliographic citation management software program that is widely used in academic and scholarly fields. We are now offering the ability for those that have EndNote to download bibliographies locally as an EndNote .txt file. Accounts that have been EndNote enabled accounts have an icon for this functionality in the upper left corner of the References section of the available account. To export an eligible bibliography, simply click on the "EndNote Download" button for the available account. An EndNote Export .txt file will download locally to your computer, which can be opened in a new EndNote Library using the "Import file" option in EndNote. Interested users must already have a license to use EndNote and be familiar with the software program in order to use this feature. Please note that we do not provide support for EndNote questions or operation.

September 2010: Bibliography News. We are in the process of developing new tools and functionality for how we handle bibliographies in BNA. Our ultimate goal is to provide a more full level of bibliographic access comparable to other online scientific journals. During this period of development we will be suspending the manner in which we are currently linking all citations within a species account until the new system is in place. We appreciate your patience as we make BNA a better scholarly resource.

5. I cannot seem to find a particular species online. Why?

Can't find a species? Please keep in mind that the BNA series covers only the breeding birds of North America, a region defined as the 50 US states plus Canada. Birds that pass through this region, as vagrants or regular migrants, are not covered by BNA -- unless they are regular breeders in the US or Canada.

6. I am having trouble printing a BNA species - the page doesn't format correctly on my printer. How come?

The purpose of BNA being online is so that the content can be continually updated, therefore we discourage you from printing static copies, in case the information changes.

That being said, if you are printing from a PC computer you will need to adjust the margin settings in your Page/Print Options and/or reduce the printed document size to around 90% in order for the information to fit in one page width.

7. Can I still purchase hardcopy BNA accounts?

Yes you can but not from us! Buteo Books now owns the remaining inventory of the paper copies of the Birds of North America single species accounts. Please call Buteo Books at 800-722-2460 or email customerservice@buteobooks.com for more information.

8. How do I cite a species account from BNA Online?

To cite the BNA Online database as a whole, you can use one of two formats:

The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology; Retrieved from The Birds of North America Online database: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA/; AUG 2005.

or if you need to go with more standard author/date format:

Poole, A. (Editor). 2005. The Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA/. Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY.

When citing a species account, give the author's name(s) and initials and the year of publication in parentheses. If the publication has been revised, use the revised date. Otherwise, use the original print date. Next list the species name followed by the site information. You may add the date you accessed the information. See the examples below.

Haig, Susan M., and Elliott-Smith, E. (2004). Piping Plover. The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.) Ithaca: Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology; Retrieved November 2, 2004, from The Birds of North America Online database: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA/account/Piping_Plover/

Marti, C. D. (1992) Barn Owl. The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.) Ithaca: Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology; Retrieved from The Birds of North America Online database: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/

Note: The Recommended Citation section of the accounts may contain the citation for the print version of BNA. Please use the format above instead.

9. I am a Lab Member and when I tried to subscribe I was told my username was already in use. When I logged on to BNA with my Lab username I was able to log on but told I needed to subscribe. Help!

The BNA Online username list is combined with Membership and other Lab programs that require a username and password. That way, you can keep the same login information across Lab projects. That is why you can login to BNA, but do not have full access, for there is no BNA subscription tied to your username yet.

At this time a Lab membership and a subscription to BNA Online are separate. If you would like to subscribe to BNA and keep the username you have for other Lab programs, just login to BNA, then click the My Account button at the top. You will have an option to purchase a subscription from there.

10. What should I do if I find an error in a species account?

The BNA editorial staff welcomes your input on errors in the species accounts. We will work to correct these as quickly as possible. Please email your corrigenda to Alan Poole, BNA editor.

It is our goal to have all BNA species accounts continually updated, with the initial emphasis on accounts published early in the series. We are establishing an online protocol to facilitate this process and we expect that to be in place in 9-12 months. If you have updates to contribute to a species account, please email Alan Poole, BNA editor.

11. I am an AOU member and cannot access BNA through the AOU. Help!

If you are a current, paid member of the AOU, you can access BNA through the AOU proxy server. You will need your AOU login ID and password, which is the following: User name: AUK + 00 + your OSNA number (the username is case specific, make sure you begin with "AUK00" plus your OSNA number), Password: your last name, with the first letter uppercase. You will enter this login information here, at the AOU/BNA proxy server. If you have forgotten or do not know your OSNA number, you can contact the AOU business center at business@osnabirds.org. Please DO NOT try to enter your AOU login/password on the BNA's main site page, you will NOT be able to login this way.

12. What's the best way to search for things in BNA?

We have been hard at work extending BNA's searching capabilities, and are pleased to introduce the first robust change to the Search feature in BNA v. 2.0. It is now possible to search by common/scientific name, order, family, genus, and keyword/keyword string. The new search looks for the information you enter into the search field in all of the following places: article titles, article content, captions or extended captions in a photo, figure or data table. The search results yield in categorical pull-down menus that include four classes of results: species accounts, articles, photos/figures/maps and lastly, data tables & appendices. The results yield in alphabetical order for each field.

Tips on Enhancing and Narrowing Search Results

The default behavior for anything entered in the search box is to look for all of the words in the box that can be found in either a species account article, caption or description field. For example, if you were to enter the words: lazuli bunting eggs into the search box, the search would look for any place in BNA where those words appear in the same space, and do not yield results of those words next to one another. If you wanted to perform a search that found words in sequence together, you would need to put them between quotation marks, e.g. "threat display" yields you the result of 140 articles that mention these words in sequence, and 15 results of Photos, Images and Maps that have this term in the caption or description fields. Now say that you wanted to narrow this result to only find the threat displays of plovers. If you were to enter "threat display" plover into the search bar, you have narrowed the results to 5 articles and 1 Photo, Image and Map. In all the examples above the search terms will be highlighted on the page you navigate to.

Wild-card Searches

You can perform wild-card searches with the BNA search engine, which can be done by placing an asterisk after the beginning of your search term. For example, if you wanted to see a list of all hummingbird species, you could either type the word "hummingbird" into the Search field or you could type in hum* to retrieve all the species with "hum" in their Common Name. You can also tailor the wildcard search for keywords or keyword strings.

13. I want to use a photograph/figure/map/audio/video file I found on BNA for a project. How do I obtain it and get permission to use it?


You must obtain permission directly from BNA in order to use any of our content in any fashion whatsoever. Some of our content we have paid the creators for one-time usage, such as our photographs, and do not have permission to distribute or allow you to use. In these instances, you will need to contact the photographer directly to request the image itself and permission for usage. Please note that depending upon intended usage and the photographer, payment may be requested and/or permission denied. Read more about the photographs used in BNA here.

If you are interested in using an illustration or a map that you've seen in BNA, please contact our sales manager, Barry Bermudez, at (607) 254-1143, or email him at: bna-sales@cornell.edu.

All of the audio and video that appears in BNA is content that belongs to the Macaulay Library of Animal Sounds and Videos.

If you want to obtain and use a recording for any purpose, you will need to first verify from what source the audio and/or video content is derived.  Many, but not all, of our audio and video content comes directly from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Macaulay Library.  If the data in the pop-up window for the audio or video file shows that the content is from Macaulay Library, then you will need to contact the Macaulay Library directly. They can be reached at (607) 254-2404 or by emailing: macaulaylibrary@cornell.edu

BNA also features audio and video files that do not originate or belong to the Macaulay Library, such as in from our contributors at Birdfilms, Michael Male and Judy Fieth. If you are interested in using a video from that you have seen on our site from their collection, please for usage permissions.

14. Why do I have to subscribe to BNA? Why isn't it free?

BNA, while hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, is its own separate project and requires ongoing funding in order to continue to be supported and maintained as a "living" resource. BNA pays for itself entirely by subscription dollars from personal and institutional subscribers. We offer many different kinds of personal subscriptions, with discounts offered for current CLO lab members and discounted extended subscription rates. Institutional subscribers are charged based upon what kind of institution, public or private, they are, and how large a population they service. If you have questions concerning the personal or institutional subscription rates, or would like to know if you qualify for an existing discount, you may contact our sales manager, Barry Bermudez, at (607) 254-1143, or email him at: bna-sales@cornell.edu.




Institutional subscriptions give access to BNA based on registered institutional IP addresses. How do I make BNA available to members of my institution who work off-site with IP addresses that are not registered to the institution?

Institutions can used a restricted proxy server to give access to BNA.

Here are the settings that one institution used for their EZProxy server:

T Birds of North America Online
U http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA/
Dj bna.birds.cornell.edu
Dj content.ornith.cornell.edu

If your institution runs a proxy server to give access to your off-site members, send us your proxy server configuration entry for BNA and we will post it here to help out other institutions.


Is a CD-ROM version of BNA Online available if I cancel my institution's subscription?

No. BNA Online is a constantly changing resource that is being developed (thanks to a National Science Foundation grant) as a tool for researchers and citizen scientists to share data collected on birds. Each species will have a growing community of supporters contributing the results of their research for all to use. It's not feasible to export information to a CD-ROM as it lacks the appropriate interface to be effectively used. Many of the images and some of the multimedia are not licensed by the Lab of Ornithology from the artists to allow derivative works to be created or to be ported to another medium. As a result, the Lab must decline requests to export data to a CD or to create a work that represents a snapshot in time. Users will have access for the duration of their subscription and are invited to renew.