Consensus Statement on Ethnopharmacological Field Studies – ConSEPTFS

Discussion Forum
Michael Heinrich, University College London, School of Pharmacy
  • Tuesday, June 6
  • Runs from 18h00 to 19h30
  • Place: Auditório Pequeno, School of Agriculture, IPB Campus
  • No fee

One problem which has ‘haunted’ ethnopharmacology, is the lack of clearly defined standards on how to conduct ethnopharmacological field studies. This ambiguity regarding appropriate methods and how to analyse data has resulted in a lack of clear and well-communicated outcomes. In addition, there is no consensus on what constitute meaningful objectives and aims of such studies (or a hypothesis). One way to overcome this is a community-wide consensus document which defines minimal standards for conduction and reporting such field studies. While it cannot define specifics of a project, it will help all researchers to ascertain that the data are reported in a transparent way, that they are meaningful and can be applied in future research (and development).

Importantly, the focus is on ethnopharmacological field studies which address questions on the use of medicinal and (health) food plants, if it is the goal of the authors to contribute to a more evidence-based use of such resources in local or national health care systems. It is not intended for other studies in the ethnosciences, like cognitive or ethnolinguistic research.

With this document we have started a process which follows the basic idea of a CONSORT statement. This is an evidence-based, minimum set of recommendations for reporting randomized clinical trials ( It offers a standard way for authors to prepare studies and the reports of their findings, facilitating their complete and transparent reporting, and aiding their critical appraisal and interpretation.

An initial draft document is available at and after feedback via the website, see:

In 2017 we are holding several further discussion sessions including at the

  • The Soc. for Ethnopharmacology meeting in , India (22. – 25.02.)
  • The Int Soc. Ethnopharmacology mtg. in Beirut, Lebanon (24. – 27.04.)
  • The World Congress of Integrative Medicine in Berlin, Germany (03. – 05. 05.)
  • The Society for Economic Botany meeting in Bragança, Portugal (05 – 09.06.)