Designing a pathway towards Implementing a Transdisciplinary Data Infrastructure for Physical Samples

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27 Jun 2019
Meeting objectives: 

A fundamental need for a scalable, cross-disciplinary data infrastructure for physical samples is the development and broad adoption of a common core metadata scheme for physical samples that will enable federated catalogues and cross-linking of digital sample representations with literature and data. The objectives of the P14 IG session are to:

  1. Review the outcomes of P13 and the May 2019 meeting of the Technical Steering Committee of the IGSN2040 project.

  2. Seek input from the audience on any other key initiatives and projects that develop and implement metadata schemes for physical samples 

  3. Identify programs which might become partners or adopters of PSACIRDE IG outcomes, etc (e.g medical sciences, material science).

  4. Establish new leadership for the PSACIRDE IG.

Meeting agenda: 

Collaborative session notes:

  1. 0-10 minutes (10 minutes): Introduction and tour de table, including a survey of which sample types and communities are present in the audience.

  2. 10-25 minutes (15 minutes): Review of the current status of the PhySC IG. Summary of the PhySC IG session at p13.

  3. 30-40 minutes (10 minutes): Time for audience participation to present on new projects for sample metadata schemes.

  4. 40-70 minutes (30 minutes): Concurrent Breakout sessions on:

    1. Business models for sustaining identifier systems for samples - what are the key considerations?

    2. Review of the current core metadata schema - is it appropriate for your domain of interest?

  5. 70-80 minutes (10 minutes): report back & discussion

  6. 80-90 minutes (10 minutes): New leadership, wrap-up and next steps.

Target Audience: 

The target audience of this meeting includes:

  1. Research data repository developers and providers who manage sample-based data;

  2. Curators and developers from sample repositories, museums, and other institutions who maintain physical sample collections and related digital sample and collection catalogues;

  3. Publishers and editors of journals that publish sample-based data; and

  4. Other stakeholders interested in topics such as persistent identifiers, metadata standards, and interoperability protocols for samples and sample-based data. 

Group chair serving as contact person: 
Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

Physical samples are a basic element for reference, study, and experimentation in research. Tests and analyses are conducted directly on samples, such as biological specimens, rock or mineral specimens, soil or sediment cores, plants and seeds, water quality samples, archaeological artefacts, or DNA and human tissue samples because they represent a wider population or a larger context. There is an urgent need for better integrating these physical objects into the digital research data ecosystem, both in a global and in an interdisciplinary context to support search, retrieval, analysis, reuse, preservation and scientific reproducibility. 


This group aims to facilitate cross-domain exchange and convergence on key issues related to the digital representation of physical samples and collections, including but not limited to: 

  1. use of globally unique and persistent identifiers for samples to support unambiguous citation and linking of information in distributed data systems and with publications; 
  2. metadata standards for documenting a diverse range of samples and collections and for landing pages; access policies; and best practices for sample and collection cataloguing, including a broad range of issues from interoperability to persistence.
Short Group Status: 

The group formed in Montreal and P10 and has met at each plenary ever since as follows:

  1. P10 Montreal (Sept 2017): IG Physical Samples and Collections in the Research Data Ecosystem

  2. P11 Berlin (March 2018): IG Physical Samples and Collections in the Research Data Ecosystem

  3. P12 Gaborone (Nov 2018): Physical Samples and Collections in the Research Data Ecosystem IG

  4. P13 Philadelphia (April 2019): IG Physical Samples and Collections in the Research Data Ecosystem (IG - PSACIRDE)

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2):