On 27 Oct 03 at 8:25, Boyce Tankersley wrote: > What software application the database uses is less important than > it being a relational database. The proper form of a relational database for a bibliography is a very difficult problem to solve. The data does not lend itself readily or obviously to the relational model. Rather than try to devise a home-brew solution, those interested are well advised to conduct a careful and thorough literature search and determine what solutions have been devised by more experienced people. If the documents were all available in digital form, then a googloid search engine would be considerably more useful than a relational database, I think. But as the premise is not true, this conclusion is not useful. It also seems to me (if I may speak with full candor) that this plan for a bibliography has gone off somewhat half-cocked. Even more important than the database design is a specification of the intended uses of the system: precisely what kinds of questions and queries is it intended to answer and what kinds is it NOT intended to answer. Also more important than the database design per se is some kind of realistic planning around the issues of (1) how complete is this bibliography to be? (2) who is going to provide the data? and (3) who is going to exercise data quality control? (4) in the long term, how are you going to ensure continuity of support and function? The bulb literature is not static and any such compilation will require ongoing work to keep it current. A database (sensu latu) where everyman and his sister can input data is only as good as the input of the most careless keyboarder. It remains a fact of human nature that lots of people are notably careless in such matters. There's no point in everyone running off half-cocked until these issues are sorted out. I'm sure we've all run across web sites that were started with best intentions but were left half-constructed when the originator ran out of steam. No point adding another to this melancholy list. It is also worthwhile remembering that such indexes as Botanical Abstracts exist, and no doubt some institutions (the RHS and Kew, in particular) may have in-house indexes. What is the relationship of the proposed bibliography to such existing databanks? -- Rodger Whitlock Victoria, British Columbia, Canada "To co-work is human, to cow-ork, bovine."