New International Standard for Registering Medicinal Products
View this email in your browser
Dear <<First Name>>,

A common frustration we hear from non-botanists about scientific plant names is the fact they change. One practical implication of this is that research about a plant can be missed if you use only one scientific name, as research will have been published under different names over the years.

For example, if you search Pubmed Central for the accepted name "Aucklandia costus" you return 0 results. If you search using "Aucklandia costus" and all its synonyms you return 214 results.

Using the MPNS Portal to search using all synonyms

Aware of this problem, we added a functionality to the MPNS portal that automatically generates a list of all synonyms. This can be used to search the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) databases, from here you can access search results from Pubmed, Pubmed central, Pubchem, the Nucleotide database etc.

Whilst this has always been a part of the portal, a few people got in touch recently to say they hadn't come across it before - so we put together some quick screenshots to take you through the process, available here as a PDF (0.7mb).

This functionality can help you find more results than you would otherwise find if you used only one name.
Search the MPNS Portal

The functionality is not always perfect as Pubmed, Pubmed Central and other NCBI databases, interpret search terms in different ways. This can mean that names can be separated out from the quotation marks, producing results that do not match the name(s) you have searched exactly. This appears to happen more in PubMed than Pubmed Central.

Of course, the difference in numbers or references that you find between using the accepted name only or including all the synonyms will vary depending on how many synonyms a plant has and how widely these have been used in the literature.

Some plants can have so many synonyms that it can be more appropriate to search using the accepted name + the synonyms used most commonly in references. For example, plants in the mint family (Lamiaceae) often have more than 100 synonyms, only a few of which will have been used in published references.

Future development

In the next portal release we will adding more links so you can use this function to search other databases; we are always interested in receiving suggestions for databases that we might add. In the meantime, you can generate the search string of all scientific names by searching NCBI via the link from the MPNS portal, then copy the string from the NCBI search box and paste it into a database of your choice.

We would welcome feedback on how this function works out for you in Pubmed or other databases - follow the links below to get in touch via email, twitter or facebook.

Best wishes,
Jason & the MPNS team
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Twitter
View our Website
View our Website
Send us an Email
Send us an Email
Find us on Facebook
Find us on Facebook
Copyright © 2016 Medicinal Plant Names Services, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp