MPNS Newsletter March 2021: Version 10 is published
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Version 10 is published

We have just released Version 10 of the MPNS Resource. It shows significant growth and improvement.

Growth of the data set

Version 10 includes records from 21 additional data sources including:
  • major datasets from partners in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and WHO's Uppsala Monitoring Centre (Sweden);
  • regulatory publications from China and Taiwan;
  • reference works (e.g. ethnobotanical papers and checklists) compiled by MPNS volunteers.
As a result, V10 now comprises:
  • 33,443 medicinal plants (an increase of 22% over Version 9 - the numbers continue to rise);
  • 203,029 alternative common, pharmaceutical or drug names used for plants, ingredients and herbal substances;
  • 312, 893 scientific names for these plants drawn from Kew’s Checklist of Vascular Plants (>9 synonyms for each plant on average);
  • the plant parts and trade forms used;
  • 191 data sources citing where/how plants are used, traded and regulated as medicines.

Enhancements to MPNS search portal

As resources permit, we do our best to respond to your requests to improve the MPNS portal interface.  The main “search results” page now cites how often each plant matching your search criteria is cited among the 191 data resources i.e. it now indicates the “frequency” of use of this plant worldwide, rather than the frequency of occurrence of your search term, as was previously reported.

Digital “controlled vocabularies” updated

Concurrently to the publication of Version 10 via MPNS's search portal, the Version 10 data set was also made available for digital users via our “web-service”. This updates and extends the various MPNS-derived “controlled vocabularies” which are used by these clients for specific purposes, e.g. for use in the ISO data standard: Identification of Medicinal Products (IDMP).

Nomenclatural review and taxonomic refresh

Kew continues to add to and curate its core nomenclatural and taxonomic ontologies for plants.  The taxonomy (APG IV standard), accepted names and synonymy of all plants cited in V10 of MPNS have been comprehensively reviewed and updated.  Pleasingly, 99.3 % of records in V10 have “3-star” (highest possible) or “2-star” confidence levels.

visit the MPNS homepage to follow these links

A huge thank you to our partners and volunteers

MPNS continues to grow largely because of the hard work and generosity of our many collaborating partners and volunteers.  Contributions are individually acknowledged and flagged on our website.   Version 10 includes significant datasets from partners in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the World Health Organisation’s Uppsala Monitoring Centre.

Ethnobotanical studies, checklists, and regulatory publications from Korea, China, Taiwan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan have been added by collaborators and volunteers or through our existing partnership with Uwe Schippmann (MAPROW).  Finally, we acknowledge the contribution from Andreas Lardos and Rebecca Lazarou working in the Wellcome Trust-funded “Byzantine Popular Pharmacy” project cited in a previous newsletter (Jan. 2020). This has added new records from around the Mediterranean, including North Africa, Western Asia, and Cyprus.

Your feedback remains important

We continue to seek your thoughts and suggestions:  what important references or data sources do we lack? How might we make the Search Portal more useful or easier to use?  How could we help your work and research more effectively?
We wish you all a safe and productive time, wherever you are in the world.
The MPNS Team
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