BOT 360F - Families of Vascular Plants

Online bibliographic tools for Botany

Major Botany Websites  Guides to Botany Websites  Other online resources

(contributed 2001 by Judy Mills, Acting Head, with additions 2002 by Gail Nichol, Reference Librarian, both at the Noranda Earth Sciences Library; updated September 2003 by TAD)


Major Botany Websites

Kew Record of Taxonomic Literature at http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/kr/KRHomeExt.html

This is a database of references relevant to the taxonomy of flowering plants, gymnosperms and ferns. It is produced by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. There is no charge for using the database and you may carry out a simple search, retrieving a limited number of references, without registering. With registration, there is access to advanced searching facilities and a larger number of references. A variety of advanced searching options are offered including biographical information by botanist name. Good searching help is provided. Results may be printed or saved to disk. There are no abstracts. The database covers all literature from the beginning of the print version in 1971.


Flora of North America at http://hua.huh.harvard.edu/FNA/index.html

FNA presents for the first time, in one reference source, information on the names, taxonomic relationships, continent-wide distributions and morphological characteristics of all plants native and naturalized found in North America north of Mexico. When complete, the Flora will appear in 30 volumes and treat more than 20,000 species of plants, about 7% of the worldŐs total. It will be available in print and on the web. So far, 4 volumes have been printed and are available on the web. The data may be searched by family, species, location, etc. and will return detailed descriptions, selected references, links to related plants and to other datasets.


Index Herbariorum at http://sciweb.nybg.org/science2/IndexHerbariorum.asp

Information on 3100 public herbaria and 9500 people in 146 countries is listed in the 8th edition of the print index. The online version indexes part 1, the herbaria, not part 2, the collectors. The database may be searched by institution, city, state, acronym, staff member, correspondent, and research specialty. Telephone and fax numbers and e-mail and URL addresses are included. It is published by the New York Botanical Garden and the International Association for Plant Taxonomy.


International Plant Names Index at http://www.ipni.org

IPNI is a database of the names and associated basic bibliographical details of all seed plants. Its goal is to eliminate the need for repeated reference to primary sources for basic bibliographic information about plant names. The data are freely available and are gradually being standardized and checked. IPNI is a dynamic resource, depending on direct contributions by all members of the botanical community. IPNI is the product of a collaboration between The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, The Harvard University Herbaria, and the Australian National Herbarium and their respective indexes, the Index Kewensis, the Gray Card Index and the Australian Plant Names Index. The IPNI site provides extensive help to assist users in searching the database and understanding the nature of the contributors files. The database may be searched to retrieve plant names, authors, publications and collectors.


GRIN Taxonomy at http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/index.pl

This database is produced by the US Agricultural Research Service. GRIN taxonomic data provide the structure and nomenclature for the accessions of the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS). Many plants (37,000 taxa, 14,000 genera) are included in GRIN taxonomy, especially economic plants. Simple and complex queries of species data may be made. The website also includes a searchable version of World Economic Plants.


IOPI Database of Plant Databases (DPD) at http://plantnet.rbgsyd.gov.au/iopi/iopihome.htm

The DPD is a global list of plant databases showing who is putting together what data and where. It contains virtually no plant data as such, but serves to put users in contact with the projects that do. Most, but not all, entries concern databases about higher plants. Three kinds of database are included:

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Guides to Botany Websites

Botany - Putting names and faces to botany information at http://www.ala.org/acrl/resjun00.html

An extensive and annotated listing from the ALA College and Research Library News Internet Resources for June 2000.


Internet Directory for Botany at http://www.botany.net/IBD/

An excellent comprehensive index containing over 3,3000 links to botanical information available on the Internet. The Alphabetical List may be used to find known sites by name. The Subject List helps users find sites in 18 subject categories, such as : Arboreta and Botanical Gardens Checklists and Floras, Taxonomical Databases, Vegetation Images Lower Plants and Fungi


Scott's Botanical Links at http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/bot linx/subject

An annotated list of web resources chosen for their educational value, completeness and scientific correctness by a faculty member at the University of Oklahoma.


Botany WWW Sites at http://www.botany.org/bsa/www-bot.html

The Botanical Society of America maintains this classified directory of websites organized in 10 major categories including: Jobs and Career Sites KidŐs Educational Sites Image Sites Gardening Sites


Google Web Directory at http://directory.google.com/Top/Science/Biology/Botany/

Contains over 10,000 links to botanical websites in numerous categories.

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Other online resources

University of Toronto Library Catalogue, Electronic Resources page provides access to online journals to which the university subscribes, and to indexes like Web of Science, a web interface for the Science Citation Index. You should also have a look at the my.library examples for ideas on how you can organize your use of library-based resources.

Another resource that is available is JSTOR whose goal is to build an easily accessible online archive of scholarly journals, providing access to a complete back run of every participating journal. Issues dating back to the 1800s have been digitized. JSTOR has combined the advantages of page images with searchable full-text, storing the data in both forms. They chose images to provide more accurate access to the non-text material found in scholarly journals, such as photographs, charts, tables, special characters and formulae. The articles are also scanned using OCR (optical character reading) software and the results are used to facilitate full-text searching of the content. This is one of the more exciting features of JSTOR, the ability to conduct an electronic search of this literature, which up to now was only accessible through printed indexes.

There is also an option to browse the collection of about 250 journals by scholarly discipline. Under Botany there are 11 titles including: American Journal of Botany, Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, and New Phytologist. The more general heading of Ecology includes 24 titles such as American Naturalist, Ecology, and Quarterly Review of Biology. [This is an excerpt from information contributed to this site by Gail Nichol, Noranda ESC Library]

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| What are plant families? | How do we distinguish them? | How and why do we study them? | Selected vascular plant families of Ontario | Reading List | Course outline |

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Please send your comments to tim.dickinson@utoronto.ca; last updated 3-Sep-2004