chapter  1
26 Pages

Data collection and hypothesis testing

Many of the methods used in ethnobotanical studies are time-consuming and moderately costly, making it impractical to apply all in a single period of fieldwork. For this reason many researchers divide their time between visits to the field with stays back home analyzing the data and writing up the results. Once you complete the process of adapting a technique for your field site, collecting the data and analyzing the results, you will be better able to choose a complementary approach in the future. For example, if you record the uses and names of medicinal plants in a community, you can identify the specimens and search ethnopharmacology databases and literature to evaluate which merit further study before returning to the field to gather samples for chemical analysis.