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electronic Plant Information Centre (ePIC)(project completed 2004)

Producing a web portal to Kew's biodiversity information resources

ePIC is a resource discovery interface on the internet (www.kew.org/epic/), providing an integrative 'shop-window' onto data held by Kew which enables web users to quickly locate available information for a given taxon from our varied databases and other resources. Funding was received from the UK government Capital Modernisation Fund, which included provision to support the electronic delivery of services to the public.

The main features of the project were

  • The intention to query and collate data from sources with diverse subject matter
  • The intention to query data from sources with heterogenous technical implementations
  • The ability to drill-down into underlying resources where these had a web presence

Over a three-year period from 2002 through 2004 the system was implemented and data sources progressively added. For some of these, ePIC is their sole exposure to the internet, but for others ePIC acts as an additional interface into their already-established web systems. Since the end of the project funding, the system has been maintained and extended with further datasources, so that it now incorporates the following:

  • International Plant Names Index (IPNI)
  • World Checklist of Monocotyledons 
  • Kew Record of Taxonomic Literature 
  • Library Catalogue
  • Micromorphology Bibliography
  • Economic Botany Bibliography
  • Herbarium Catalogue
  • Living Collection
  • Economic Botany Collections
  • Seed Information
  • Survey of Economic Plants for Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (SEPASAL) 
  • Flora Zambesiaca 
  • Kew website

Usage of ePIC is detailed in Annex 1. Indexing by Google at the end of 2005 has increased visibility of ePIC. Plans to broaden its utility, appeal and educational impact by adding additional content and an access layer suitable for non-specialists, await funding.

Project funders

 UKCapital Modernisation Fund

Annex material

Annex 1:  ePIC usage  (Excel file)

Project team

HerbariumDavid Simpson
ISD(Graham Christian), (John Flanagan), Sally Hinchcliffe, Mark Jackson, Nicola Nicolson, Alyson Prior

Science Teams: 
Project Leader: