IG Physical Samples and Collections in the Research Data Ecosystem - RDA 12th Plenary meeting

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Meeting title
From Interest to Action: Toward Implementation of a Trans-disciplinary Data Infrastructure for Physical Samples

Collaborative session notes
(link to be added)

Short introduction describing the activities and the 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. Other physical objects, such as maps or analog images are also direct objects of study, and, if digitized, may become a source of digital data. 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: 
use of globally unique and persistent identifiers for samples to support unambiguous citation and linking of information in distributed data systems and with publications; 
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.

Additional links

Group page: https://www.rd-alliance.org/groups/physical-samples-and-collections-rese...

Case statement: 

Previous Meetings 
- RDA P11 IG Session: 
- RDA P11 Collocated Event: Workshop on "Where to next with persistent identifiers for physical samples?"
- RDA P10 BoF Session: https://www.rd-alliance.org/ig-physical-samples-and-collections-research...

Papers from the Linking Environmental Data and Samples Symposium, Canberra, May 2017 
- https://csiro-enviro-informatics.github.io/environmental-data-symposium-...
- https://eos.org/meeting-reports/connecting-scientific-data-and-real-worl...

Meeting objectives

1. Inform the community about the project “Defining the Future of the IGSN as a Global Persistent Identifier for Material Samples” that has recently been funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to conduct an international strategic planning effort to mature architecture and organizational structure and business model of the IGSN system toward a scalable and sustainable infrastructure for sample PIDs. 
2. The IG needs to review proposals for Working Groups from RDA P11 in the light of the Sloan-funded planning effort and decide which WGs are still relevant and necessary. Two WGs that had been proposed during the P11 collocated event and ‘First Strike’ groups were established during the IG’s session at P11 with the goal to draft charges for the WGs and for clarifying Framing Principles’. The WGs proposed at P11 were”
WG to develop a proposal for addressing governance, business models, policy, and best practices for persistent identifiers of physical samples and collections. (These topics are addressed by the Sloan-funded effort.)
WG to compile relevant existing data models/vocabularies/ontologies and recommend a common core metadata schema for samples and an ontology for sample types.
2. The IG needs to explore options and opportunities to engage additional domains such as medical sciences that are currently not represented in the IG.

Meeting agenda

1. 0-10 minutes: Introduction and tour de table (K. Lehnert), update on activities
2. 10-30 minutes: Presentation about the international strategic planning effort ‘Defining the Future of the IGSN as a Global Persistent Identifier for Material Samples’, funded by the Sloan Foundation (start date of project is 8/1/2018)
3. 30-75 minutes: Presentations by First Strike groups, discussion of outcomes, alignment with activities of the Sloan project, and approval of WG charges 
4. 75-85 minutes: Broadening participation in the IG: discussion on engagement activities and meeting schedules
5. 85-90 minutes: Wrap-up and next steps


- Research data repository developers and providers who manage sample-based data;
- Curators and developers from sample repositories, museums, and other institutions who maintain physical sample collections and related digital sample and collection catalogs;
- Publishers and editors of journals that publish sample-based data; and
- 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
Kerstin Lehnert

Type of Meeting
Working meeting