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What the project involves
Format of Plant Biographies
Whether to Include or Exclude Material
Sometimes factual information eg. harvesting methods, date of introduction to a particular region has had to be omitted, however fascinating, because the accuracy has been uncertain. Various details may also have been excluded ultimately if they were likely to make passages boring to read ie. explanation(s) of every common name could be exceedingly tedious, and this project aims primarily to excite, amaze and entertain, not offer academic argument. On the other hand there are instances when different authorities pose various, often isolated, points of view and these are presented as alternatives.
Initially the size of the document curtailed the inclusion of, for instance, every identified foreign common name, or the comprehensiveness of the General Index (available on the CD only). With well over 1.75 million words in the main text by 2013, this has been relaxed and all identified foreign names are now included. Additionally on the CD the contents of the extensive General Index (which itself is preceded by a Summary) has actually been extended to embrace more details than previously practicable. This enables us to offer an overview of the unexpected encyclopedic content of Plant Biographies as well as greater access.
Attribution of MaterialFor two particular reasons, specific attribution has not been made in this work apart from that offered by the Bibliography. On a surprising number of occasions subsequent research has shown that, on a particular point already included additional authorities emerge in support of it, in disagreement with it, and/or with alternative explanations for it. Thus there can be no certainty that any one authoritative comment can be construed as incontrovertible, although it may have been presented unwittingly in that fashion in the source concerned. The second factor is a practical one. It is impossible to anticipate the material that will or will not be unearthed when researching. As a result entries are built up gradually and written and re-written to accommodate each small or large addition, thus an initial attribution could subsequently be shared in whole or in part by one or a multitude of other sources which would be extremely cumbersome and nigh impossible in many instances to present.
ALL material is subject to Copyright.