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Challenges in developing Medicinal Plant Databases for sharing Ethnopharmacological Knowledge.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22401841     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Major research contributions in ethnopharmacology have generated vast amount of data associated with medicinal plants. Computerized databases facilitate data management and analysis making coherent information available to researchers, planners and other users. Web-based databases also facilitate knowledge transmission and feed the circle of information exchange between the ethnopharmacological studies and public audience. However, despite the development of many medicinal plant databases, a lack of uniformity is still discernible. Therefore, it calls for defining a common standard to achieve the common objectives of ethnopharmacology. AIM OF THE STUDY: The aim of the study is to review the diversity of approaches in storing ethnopharmacological information in databases and to provide some minimal standards for these databases. APPROACH AND METHODS: Survey for articles on medicinal plant databases was done on the Internet by using selective keywords. Grey literatures and printed materials were also searched for information. Listed resources were critically analyzed for their approaches in content type, focus area and software technology. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Necessity for rapid incorporation of traditional knowledge by compiling primary data has been felt. While citation collection is common approach for information compilation, it could not fully assimilate local literatures which reflect traditional knowledge. Need for defining standards for systematic evaluation, checking quality and authenticity of the data is felt. Databases focusing on thematic areas, viz., traditional medicine system, regional aspect, disease and phytochemical information are analyzed. Issues pertaining to data standard, data linking and unique identification need to be addressed in addition to general issues like lack of update and sustainability. In the background of the present study, suggestions have been made on some minimum standards for development of medicinal plant database. CONCLUSION: In spite of variations in approaches, existence of many overlapping features indicates redundancy of resources and efforts. As the development of global data in a single database may not be possible in view of the culture specific differences, efforts can be given to specific regional areas. Existing scenario calls for collaborative approach for defining a common standard in medicinal plant database for knowledge sharing and scientific advancement.
Sanjoy Singh Ningthoujam; Anupam Das Talukdar; Kumar Singh Potsangbam; Manabendra Dutta Choudhury
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-3-5
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of ethnopharmacology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1872-7573     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-3-9     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7903310     Medline TA:  J Ethnopharmacol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Department of Botany, Ghanapriya Women's College, Imphal, Manipur, India.
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