Destructive Sampling Policy
HARVARD UNIVERSITY HERBARIA DESTRUCTIVE SAMPLING OF HERBARIUM SPECIMENS POLICY STATEMENT AND PROCEDURE (PDF file)
The collections of the Harvard University Herbaria are maintained with the goal of balancing preservation of their integrity with utilization for scientific research. While every effort will be made to accommodate researchers, decisions concerning destructive sampling will be made on a case-by-case basis. When possible, researchers should seek first material from herbaria known to have large collections from the taxa or regions concerned. Only after it has clearly been shown that every effort has been made to obtain material elsewhere, but without success, will the Harvard University Herbaria consider requests of this nature.
Use of material from the Harvard University Herbaria is for non-commercial purposes* only. Genetic material, its products or resources deriving from it are not transferrable.
- 1. A formal written request must be sent from the Director or Collections Manager of the institution requiring samples to the Director of the Harvard University Herbaria. The request must detail the samples required, who requires them, the nature of the research, and an estimate of the amount of material needed.
Material may not be removed from specimens without prior consent of the Director of the Harvard University Herbaria.
- 2. Each request must be accompanied by a signed authorization form. The form is available on the web (http://www.huh.harvard.edu/collections/use.html ) or can be requested from a curatorial staff member of the Harvard University Herbaria. Material may be removed only after the authorization form has been approved
- 3. If permission is granted, leaf material, pollen, spores, fungal tissue, bryophyte segments, etc. may be removed from specimens only when there is adequate material available. Packet material should be the first tissue sampled. Care must be taken not to damage the integrity of the specimen.
- 4. Material may not be removed from type collections, from historical specimens, or from taxa represented in the herbaria with less than three collections, except in rare instances. Specimens can only be sampled once for the same study. Exceptions may be made when there is additional leaf material for DNA studies associated with the specimen.
- 5. The Harvard University Herbaria reserve the right to refuse to supply tissues to a recipient.
- 6. Each specimen must be annotated indicating the material removed, the nature of the study, the researcher’s name and institutional affiliation, the date and the identification of the specimen accepted by the researcher. GenBank or other accession numbers must be included
- 7. Any publication resulting from the use of plant material should acknowledge the Harvard University Herbaria as supplier or, under certain circumstances, be published in collaboration with a staff member of the Harvard University Herbaria. A copy of any resulting publications should be sent to the Director of the Harvard University Herbaria.
- 8. Depending on the nature of the study, the researcher must return a duplicate permanent pollen, spore, anatomical slide, SEM photograph, etc. to the Harvard University Herbaria.
Samples of genetic material must be properly stored and curated and made available to others for further study. The researcher must provide the Harvard University Herbaria with the location and storage method of any remaining sample. The storage facility must be permanent. The Harvard University Herbaria reserves the right to request tissue originally obtained from Harvard specimens.
- 9. For larger or complicated requests for material for DNA extractions or other studies, researchers will be encouraged to visit the Harvard University Herbaria, using their own funds, to select specimens for sampling. After the formal written request and the Authorization Form are approved by the Director of the Harvard University Herbaria, the material may be removed.
- 10. The Harvard University Herbaria maintain no records on the history of specimen collection or treatment methods; materials are supplied with no warranty of any kind.
* Commercial use includes, but is not limited to, the following activities: sale, filing a patent application, obtaining or transferring intellectual property rights or other tangible or intangible rights by sale or license or in any other manner, commencement of product development, conducting market research, and seeking pre-market approval.
HARVARD UNIVERSITY HERBARIA DESTRUCTIVE SAMPLING OF HERBARIUM SPECIMENS AUTHORIZATION FORM
If you agree to accept the materials under the above conditions, please
- a. enclose a formal written request to the Director of the Harvard University Herbaria listing the samples required, who requires them, the nature of the research, and an estimate of the amount of material needed.
- b. fill out and sign the form below and return this form to the Director of the Harvard University Herbaria, 22 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
[Printed Name of Institution (Acronym)]
[Printed Name, Position]
[Signature of Research Investigator]
Supervisor (if appropriate):________________________________________________
[Signature of Supervisor]
For HUH records: Have you ever contributed herbarium specimens to the Harvard
[Loan # assigned by Harvard]
Permission granted: ________________________________________________________
[for the Director of HUH, Date]