Tutorial - the Forms and Surveys Library

Enabling the feature

The Forms and Surveys Library is a feature provided by Instant Indicia that allows you to provide a large selection of data entry forms, whilst letting recorders pick and choose the ones that they regularly use and need quick access to. This is the My Forms page on iRecord and also shown running here on the Luxembourg Natural History Museum’s data portal:

Managing available data entry forms.

The My Forms page automatically matches the available forms against the recorder’s preferred recording locality and taxon groups, so if a recorder is interested in beetles, then ladybird recording forms will show before bird recording forms.

Turning on the Forms and Surveys Library is as simple as other Instant Indicia features:

  1. Select Site building > Features > Manage from the admin menu.
  2. On the Features page, select the Indicia Input Forms category, then tick the box beside the Forms & surveys library feature.
  3. Click the Save settings button.

This adds a new path to your Drupal website, called forms_and_surveys_library, which displays the page allowing the recorder to select their favourite forms. It also adds functionality to your website so that if you add a menu item titled My Forms, then all the recorder’s favourited forms will have a shortcut added as a sub-menu item. Therefore the easiest way forward is to add a My Forms menu item pointing to the forms_and_surveys_library path:

  1. Select Site building > Menus > List menus from the admin menu.
  2. Click on the Primary Links menu’s link.
  3. Click Add Item.
  4. Set the Path to “forms_and_surveys_library”.
  5. Set the Menu link title to “My Forms”.
  6. Set the Description to “Pick your favourite forms from the library”.
  7. Set the Parent item to “– Submit Records”.
  8. Click Save then check that the menu item has been created.

Adding forms to the library

Although everything is now working, we’ve not yet told Indicia that we want any of our existing forms to actually appear in the library (since appearance in the library is optional). To add our “Enter a list of Records” form to the library:

  1. Go to the Edit tab for the form.
  2. Near the bottom you will find a new section that has been added by the Forms and Surveys Library feature called Forms and surveys library settings. Expand this section and tick the Include in library checkbox.
  3. You can overwrite the Library title, or leave the default. This is the title which will be shown on the My Forms page.
  4. Fill in the Library description which will appear in the panel shown on the My Forms page. You could set it to something like “Submit a list of records of any species”.
  5. If the form was specific to a locality or species group, then you can fill in the respective boxes. In this case though our form is general purpose so there is no need to fill these options in. This helps the My Forms page to sort the available forms with the ones the recorder is most likely to be interested in near the top.
  6. Save this page then repeat these steps to add your other form(s) to the library.
  7. Now, select Submit Records > My Forms from the menu to check the forms are available. Try adding a form to your favourites, then reload the page and take a look at your Submit Records > My Forms menu item to check that a shortcut to the form has been added to the menu.
A shortcut has been added to the menu


If the form you are adding to the library is going to be associated with some publicity material and you want people to be able to follow a link directly to a registration page for using this form, then you can set the Registration path to a path within your Drupal site. This automatically creates a registration page at the path you set, which is set up so that after registration the data input form becomes the user’s home page. If you do this then you will also want to fill in the Registration intro. This is a great tool for events such as bioblitzes and other public participation surveys.

So, this is a great way to build a site with lots of data input forms, supporting surveys for different taxonomic groups and locations.