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This wiki is managed by the Herbarium Information Systems Committee and is available to the botanically interested public. It contains HISCOM's working documents.

Wiki contribution and editing is enabled for registered HISCOM participants, including all HISCOM members and invited observers.

Statler and waldorf.jpg

New features on the Wiki:

  • RSS feed
Try:, preferrably in an RSS reader (your browser will have one), otherwise you get the untransformed XML. Atom will work as well, just replace 'feed=rss' with 'feed=atom'. This is in Chrome:
RSS screenshot 2012-05-06 006.jpg
  • Syntax highlighting
Enhances the code-reading experience...
See: Data delivery to ALA or Online flora XML Schema for examples of XML and NearNamedPlace the MEL way for a PHP example.


HISCOM is the longest running subcommittee of the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) having been established in 1995.

The Herbarium Information Systems Committee (HISCOM) has representatives of the computing and information technology programs of each participating institution and deals with the development and application of new technologies to herbarium management, botanical research and information delivery. HISCOM's flagship project is the Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Terms of Reference


Participants in HISCOM include information technology representatives from each of the Australian Commonwealth, State and Territory herbaria and and representatives from the New Zealand herbaria. Representatives from related projects are invited to participate and collaborate.

Representatives from the Australian Fauna Collections Information Group (FCIG) technical subcommittee of the Council of Heads of Australasian Fauna Collections (CHAFC) are invited to participate in HISCOM meetings and teleconferences.


HISCOM is responsible to creating and maintaining a number of key products servicing the botancial information management Australian herbarium and botanical taxonomic communities.

Australia's Virtual Herbarium (AVH)

  • Australia's Virtual Herbarium (AVH) is HISCOM's flagship project, providing integrated access to information form all Australian herbaria. Its current focus is on herbarium specimen records.

Early Warning System (EWS)

  • Early Warning System (EWS) is a adaptation of the AVH specimen information technology to provide dynamic alerts of changes in range or occurrence of Australian plant species.

Herbarium Information Standards and Protocols for Interchange of Data (HISPID)

Online Flora Information Systems

  • Online Flora Information Systems are an emerging focus for botanical information management in Australia. HISCOM is working towards a nationally consistent information specification.


HISCOM conducts it business through meetings, teleconferences and technical workshops involving all HISCOM participants. The agendas, minutes and outcomes of these are documented on this wiki.


HISCOM holds several teleconferences a year to enssure progress between annual meetings. A teleconference is usually scheduled before each CHAH meeting or teleconference to enable effective reporting of HISCOM activity. Agendas and minutes are documented on this wiki.

Extraordinary Workshops

HISCOM periodically arranges technical workshops to address particular information management problems or manage particular information management projects. Materials for these and outcomes from the workshops are documented on this wiki.

Annual General Meetings

HISCOM holds a formal face to face meeting at least once a year. To maximize benefit of attendance these meetinings are often timed to coincide with other national botanical meetings and conferences. Agendas and minutes are documented on this wiki.

Discussion Papers

To facilitate use of common standards and practice, HISCOM produces occasional technical discussion papers. These are documented on this wiki.

Technical Manuals

HISCOM produces occasional technical papers on botanical information management subjects. These are available on this wiki.

Older Manuals


(Wiki help has been moved to Help:Editing.)