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Abstract Detail


Systematics/Phytogeography / Taxonomie/ Section

Miller, Chuck [1], Freeland, Chris [1], Holland, Douglas [2], Magill, Robert E. [3].

Botanicus - A freely accessible, Web-based encyclopedia of digitized 18th, 19th and early 20th century botanical reference literature.

Digitizing, indexing, and annotating historical scientific literature is vital to future research in systematic botany, the science of the identification of plants. Like other natural history disciplines - but unlike the physical sciences - systematic botany is built upon and requires frequent reference to the literature of its past. To conduct carefully documented and authenticated research, botanists must spend weeks in library collections searching the published botanical literature for data to develop a new project or substantiate their recent observations.
Comprehensive collections of botanical literature are only available in a handful of libraries, all located in North America and Europe. For botanical researchers, these library-centered literature searches, while a crucial requirement of any project, delay hypothesis development or recognition and publication of new plant discoveries. For those traveling in remote parts of North America or stationed overseas, lack of access to library resources compounds these difficulties. Further, no matter how scrupulous the search, when scientists must work manually through an array of journals and books it is impossible to be sure that all historical facts have been located and all published observations have been seen.
Over 67,000 systematic botanical publications exist, but only those most recently published are in digitized form. Botanicus now makes many of these publications freely available world-wide via the Internet.


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1 - Missouri Botanical Garden, BioInformatics, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, Saint Louis, MO, 63110, USA
2 - Missouri Botanical Garden, Research, 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA
3 - Missouri Botanical Garden, Science & Conservation, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, Saint Louis, MO, 63110, USA

Keywords:
Systematic botany
Reference literature
Digitizing.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Ball Room & Party Room/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 12:30 PM
Number: PSP002
Abstract ID:47


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