The role of voucher specimens in validating faunistic and ecological research
- What Constitutes a Voucher Specimen?
- Preparation and Deposition of Vouchers
- Current Requirements, Policies and Recommendations on Vouchers
- How Many Specimens? Guidelines on Depositing Vouchers
- The Benefits of Depositing Vouchers (and the costs of not doing so)
- Deposition of vouchers permits long term studies
- Deposition of vouchers permits correction of published errors
- Deposition of vouchers permits resolution of species limits
- Lack of vouchers renders published results unverifiable
Accessible voucher specimens are critical for accurate identification and subsequent verification of species. Species are the raw material of biodiversity research, whether the focus of that research is taxonomic, evolutionary, ecological, genetic, behavioural or physiological. Research projects in biodiversity require a significant investment of time, effort and money, but without adequate documentation in the form of vouchers there is great potential for that investment to be wasted. Indeed, a failure to protect the currency of science inevitably leads, just as in business, to bankruptcy.
Page updated on Feb 23, 2014