KBD: Kew Bibliographic Databases: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

  1. What are the Kew Bibliographic Databases (KBD)?
  2. Who can use the Kew Bibliographic Databases?
  3. Why do I need to register?
  4. Do all three databases offer the same quality of coverage?
  5. Why didn't I get any results?
  6. Why does the database contain duplicate records?
  7. Why can't I find my paper/book in KBD?
  8. I found an error - who do I tell?
  9. How long does it take literature to get into KBD?
  10. Can I send my book/paper for inclusion in KBD?
  11. How can I limit search to genus or family names only?
  12. Does KBD standardise plant names?
  13. Where can I check the name of a plant?
  14. Can I download references into a bibliographic management programme such as Endnote?
  15. How can I get hold of the references I found?
  16. What other databases can I search for botanical literature?
  17. Can I still buy Kew Record in hard copy?
  18. Where can I buy other Kew publications?
  19. Do I need to credit use of KBD?
  20. How can I support KBD?
  21. Can I link to KBD from my website?
  22. I downloaded articles from my basket but I didn't get the full text. What's going on?

1. What are the Kew Bibliographic Databases (KBD)?

KBD is a new web interface for Kew Record, the Plant Micromorphology Bibliographic Database, and the Economic Botany Bibliographic Database. It replaces the three separate websites, and offers useful new features. KBD does not give access to Kew's Library Catalogue.

2. Who can use the Kew Bibliographic Databases?

KBD is freely available to all, without charge. It is provided by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as part of its mission to support botanical research and conservation.
On this website a basket is used as visual shorthand for marked lists of citations. It is not a shopping service and does not enable purchase of anything. There is no charge for using any part of KBD.

3. Why do I need to register?

The basket and saved search features would not work without registration. We've kept the registration procedure as simple as possible.

4. Do all three databases offer the same quality of coverage?

No. Kew Record (KR) and Plant Micromorphology (PMBD) seek to be comprehensive - see the About page for more details of coverage. Economic Botany (EB) only covers selected articles, and ends in 2003.

5. Why didn't I get any results?

You have probably misspelt the plant name or are searching on too many keywords. Spelling can be checked on IPNI or Kew's Vascular Plant Families and Genera. Ferns are covered by the databases, but fungi and lower plants are not.

6. Why does the database contain duplicate records?

KBD is the interface for three databases. If an article is covered by more than one database, it will appear more than once. Each database uses different keywords, so we can't merge records. You can always choose to search only one database - that will reduce duplication.

7. Why can't I find my paper/book in KBD?

If it's a recent publication, please check again in a month or two. If you have written an account in a Flora, remember that these are usually indexed by editor only. If your taxonomic or plant anatomy publications are definitely missing, please email us at biblio@kew.org

8. I found an error - who do I tell?

Please email us biblio@kew.org, quoting the record number (e.g. 190107875) and giving the correct details. It may take several months for the correction to appear online.

9. How long does it take literature to get into KBD?

It takes about 2 months for a publication to appear online, once it has been received by Kew's library. Publications from 2005 and 2006 are taking longer owing to ongoing work on the database.

10. Can I send my book/paper for inclusion in KBD?

If your article is in a journal held at Kew, there is no need to send us a copy. Journal holdings are listed on the Library Catalogue. Gifts of books are always welcomed by the Library. Please contact the Library first, at library@kew.org

11. How can I limit search to genus or family names only?

If you are getting unwanted results from the simple/general search boxes (which search all fields), try using the keywords box in Advanced Search.

12. Does KBD standardise plant names?

Genus and species names are usually entered as in the publication. Family names are treated differently in different databases. Kew Record and Economic Botany use family names as given in Vascular Plant Families and Genera. Plant Micromorphology uses both the traditional family names, e.g. Leguminosae, and the new forms, e.g. Fabaceae. Where several names are in use for a plant, you should search for all of them.

13. Where can I check the name of a plant?

There is no easy answer to this question as there is no global checklist of accepted plant names. Useful resources include:
ePIC electronic Plant Information Centre - includes some out-of-date names.
GRIN Genetic Resources Information Network is good for economic plants
World Checklist of Monocotyledons
World Checklist of Rubiaceae
ILDIS International Legume Database & Information Service
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families

14. Can I download references into a bibliographic management programme such as Endnote?

Yes, add the references to your basket then choose Endnote format when you download them.

15. How can I get hold of the references I found?

Consult your librarian for the location of a good science or botany library, or use inter-library loan services.

16. What other databases can I search for botanical literature?

Freely available databases include:
Kew's Electronic Plant Information Centre ePIC
Library catalogues at Kew, the Natural History Museum and the New York Botanical Garden
The International Plant Names Index gives the original publication of plant names IPNI
Crop plants are covered by AGRICOLA
Medicinal plants are partly covered by PubMed

17. Can I still buy Kew Record in hard copy?

Yes, subscriptions are available. Visit the Kew Record page for more information.

18. Where can I buy other Kew publications?

From our online bookshop, www.kewbooks.com

19. Do I need to credit use of KBD?

If KBD has been of significant help to your project, an acknowledgement to the Kew Bibliographic Databases of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is appreciated. If you plan to reproduce substantial portions of the database, e.g. to produce a bibliography, you must contact us to seek permission, at biblio@kew.org Further information on citing KBD is available on the Help page.

20. How can I support KBD?

By passing on word of KBD to students or colleagues who might find it useful. You can also help support Kew's work by becoming a Friend of Kew.

21. Can I link to KBD from my website?

Yes! Please link to Kew Bibliographic Databases (KBD) at http://www.kew.org/kbd/

22. I downloaded articles from my basket but I didn't get the full text. What's going on?

KBD is a bibliographic database and only contains reference information about articles and books - it doesn't contain the full text or even the abstracts of the literature concerned.