Guidelines for Loan Requests

Guidelines for loan requests

  1. Specimens from the Australian Tropical Herbarium (CNS) are, in principle, available on loan for scientific research that does not compromise the safety or integrity of the specimens. Loans are issued primarily for taxonomic and systematic studies. Loan requests for DNA or phytochemical sampling or anatomical, palynological, ecological, ethnobotanical or historical studies may be considered if alternative sources of suitable material are not available.
  2. Loans are made to institutions, not to individual researchers. Requests will be considered only from institutions that are listed on Index Herbariorum, and only where secure transport and storage arrangements exist.
  3. Loans are subject to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES; In accordance with Article VII, paragraph 6, specimens or samples of CITES-listed taxa may only be transported internationally between scientific institutions registered with a CITES Management Authority (
  4. Loans of Australian native species are subject to the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Specimens can be sent only to scientific institutions that are either CITES-registered or registered with the Australian Department of the Environment (
  5. Loan requests must be made in writing by the director (or designated officer) of the borrowing institution. Requests should be addressed to the CNS Director and should include:
  • The name(s) of the researcher(s) on whose behalf the loan is requested;
  • A brief description of the research being undertaken, its relationship to any wider projects (e.g. national or regional floras);
  • Details of the taxonomic and geographic scope of the work, including synonyms, and any other specific requirements;
  • Details of type specimens required, including the basionym and protologue;
  • Details of proposed destructive sampling (refer to CNS Destructive Sampling Policy and Destructive Sampling Agreement);
  • an outline of any commercial arrangements bearing upon the use of the material

Where approved, loans are subject to CNS’s Loan Conditions. The head (or delegated officer) of the borrowing institution is responsible for the safe custody and return of specimens.

Type specimens, material preserved in liquid and separate fruits may be sent on loan only where specifically requested, or when no other material is available.

Specimens supplied on loan are provided for research purposes. CNS provides no warranty and accepts no responsibility or liability for the suitability of such material or data for any use or study. Assessment of suitability of such material and data for intended use is the responsibility of receiving institutions or researchers.

CNS maintains no records on the history of specimen collection or treatment methods over time. Currently, all specimens may be subject to freezing at minus 23°C. Specimens are supplied with no warranty of any kind.