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Economic Botany Data Collection Standard

  • Status: TDWG prior standard
  • Category: Best current practice
  • TDWG task group: Economic Botany Interest Group
  • Date submitted: 2006-11-24
  • Date published: 1995-10-01
  • Last modified: 2006-11-24


Cook. F.E.M. 1995. Economic Botany Data Collection Standard. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Studies on the uses of plants are becoming increasingly important. Standardisation of terms and a unified system to describe uses are of enormous benefit to gatherers of information, especially where exchanges of data sets are involved.

The standard provides a system whereby uses of plants (in their cultural context) can be described, using standardised descriptors and terms, and attached to taxonomic data sets. It resulted from discussions at the International Working Group on Taxonomic Databases for Plant Sciences (TDWG) between 1989 and 1992.

Users and potential users of the standard include:

  1. economic botanists and ethnobotanists whose purpose is to record all known information about the uses of a taxon;
  2. educationalists, taxonomists, biochemists, anatomists etc. who wish to record plant use, often at a broad level;
  3. economic botany collection curators who need to describe accurately the uses and values of specimens in their collections;
  4. bibliographers who need to describe plant uses referred to in publications and to apply keywords consistently for ease of data retrieval.
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