The role of voucher specimens in validating faunistic and ecological research

The Benefits of Depositing Vouchers (and the costs of not doing so)

Many previous authors have outlined, often in general terms, the benefits of depositing vouchers (e.g., numerous papers cited in Huber 1998). That such benefits are often put in general terms may be responsible for the fact that many authors continue to disregard recommendations to deposit vouchers. In this section the benefits of good voucher practice, as well as some of the potential costs of not depositing vouchers, are reviewed using examples from the literature as well as some known but unpublished examples. Criticism of a particular paper for not following recommended voucher practices should not be interpreted as a criticism of the scientific validity or quality of the research; it is simply that, in the absence of voucher specimens, the research results cannot be independently verified or repeated with the certainty that the same taxon is being studied.

Page updated on Feb 23, 2014