Opening Doors to Physical Sample Data Discovery, Integration, and Credit

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Joan E Damerow , Natalie Raia , Val Stanley, Saebyul Choe, Mikayla Borton, Neil Byers, Ellen Cassidy, Shreyas Cholia, Rorie Edmunds, Brieanne Forbes, Kathleen Forrest, Amy Goldman, John Kunze, Sara Lafia, Kerstin Lehnert, Marcella McIntyre-Redden, Richard Naples, Dylan O'Ryan, Charles Parker, Esther Plomp, Beck Powers-McCormack, Sarah Ramdeen, Stephen Richard, Anne Thessen, Cody Thompson, Dave Vieglais, Kristina Vrouwenvelder, Elisha Wood-Charlson, Lesley Wyborn , T.B.K. Reddy, Andrea Thomer


Physical samples and their associated (meta)data underpin scientific discoveries across disciplines, and can enable new science when appropriately archived. However, there are significant gaps in community practices and infrastructure that currently prevent accurate provenance tracking, reproducibility, and attribution. For the vast majority of samples, descriptive metadata is often sparse, inaccessible, or absent. Samples and associated (meta)data may also be scattered across numerous physical collections, data repositories, laboratories, data files, and papers with no clear linkages or provenance tracking as new information is generated over time. The Physical Samples Curation Cluster has therefore developed ‘A Scientific Author Guide for Publishing Open Research Using Physical Samples.’ This involved synthesizing existing practices, community feedback, and assessing real-world examples to identify community and infrastructure needs. We identified areas of work needed to enable authors to efficiently reference samples and related data, link related samples and data, and track their use. Our goal is to help improve the discoverability, interoperability, use of physical samples and associated (meta)data into the future.



Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology, Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Microbiology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Systems Biology


Physical Samples, data management, Data Citation, Provenance Tracking, Persistent Identifiers, Related Identifiers, Interdisciplinary Science, Material Samples, data repository, Physical Sample Repository, natural history collections


Published: 2024-05-31 01:51

Last Updated: 2024-05-31 08:51


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International