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Applying the CARE Principles to Research Samples and Specimens

13 FEB 2024

Collaborative session notes

Group(s) submitting the application: 

Physical Samples and Collections in the Research Data Ecosystem IG

Meeting objectives: 

The overall objective is to provide attendees with information on new developments/projects on Physical Samples and their importance in the Research Data Ecosystem.

The first part of this session will provide several short updates from the international sample management community to highlight progress in integrating physical sample information in the research data ecosystem. 

In the second part of the session, we will have a deep dive into applying the CARE Principles ( to physical samples and derived research outputs. Many physical samples start as part of the natural world. When collected, these physical samples create connections across the natural history value chain from field sites to labs to repositories and museums. However, the collection of the samples and the natural history value chain have historically not included consent from the local Indigenous communities that the samples come from or Indigenous metadata included in the sample description. 

This session will discuss the implementation of CARE principles across the sample lifecycle, from planning to collect in the field to depositing samples in a repository. The session will highlight how CARE is operationalised in the planning phases before collection, with an example from the University of California Berkeley Gump South Pacific Research Center, a field station that is incorporating Local Contexts Notices and Labels into the application process for access. We will then move to the data curation end of the sample lifecycle and highlight recent successful implementations of Local Contexts notices and labels by Manaaki Whenua and other work being done by the repository community. We will continue an ongoing conversation about how to ethically engage with local Indigenous communities around sampling and how to describe those samples. We would like to identify additional partners from this session who are willing to be early adopters in implementing CARE Principles at their physical sample repositories and sample catalogues.  

We aim to have the session as interactive as possible with a collaborative google doc prompts followed by guided discussions. The results will be disseminated on a blog post led by the FAIR Island Project and cross-posted by relevant groups. 

Meeting agenda: 

Target Audience: 

  1. Anyone from any sector that is trying to integrate metadata and data on samples from Multiple Communities, particularly indigenous communities;
  2. Research data repository developers and providers who manage sample-based data;
  3. Curators and developers from sample repositories, museums, and other institutions who maintain physical sample collections and related digital sample and collection catalogues;
  4. Publishers and editors of journals that publish sample-based data;
  5. People interested in how to quantify the CARE principles in sample metadata.

Group chair serving as contact person: 

Lesley Wyborn

Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

The group formed at P10 in Montreal in September 2017 and 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 samples and collections and for landing pages, access policies, and best practices for sample and collection catalogue, including a broad range of issues from interoperability to persistence. As an interest group, we seek to showcase new for community developments that promote the use of the sample and its connections to any derived observations, images and analytical data.  We also seek to help individual communities identify what is truly unique about their samples but still make it easy to interoperate within the global samples ecosystem. 

Short Group Status: 

The group formed in Montreal at 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) 
  5. P14 Helsinki (Oct 2019): Designing a pathway towards Implementing a Transdisciplinary Data Infrastructure for Physical Samples 
  6. P15 Melbourne (April 2020): Identifying physical samples and linking them to the global research data ecosystem 
  7. P16 Costa Rica (November 2020): Toward a global and multi-disciplinary network of FAIR physical samples – 
  8. P17 Edinburgh (April 2021): Cross-disciplinary sharing of samples and increasing awareness 
  9. P18 Virtual (November 2021): Sample Identifier and Metadata Practices/Tools to Enable Interdisciplinary Sample Data Discovery, Integration, and Reuse Across Multiple Data Systems –
  10. P19 South Korea (June 2022): Harmonising Citations, Acknowledgments and Credit for Physical Samples/Specimens in Scholarly Publications…
  11. P20 Gothenburg (March 2023): Expanding our horizons to new disciplines: harmonising on what is core to all. 
  12. P21 Salzburg (October 2023): Joint meeting with the Chemistry IG and the CODATA/WorldFAIR project. Describing Chemical, Physical and Biological samples digitally: Seeking harmonization

Type of Meeting: 

Informative meeting

Additional links to informative material: 

References related to the Physical Samples and Collections in the Research Data Ecosystem IG.

  1. Group Page:
  2. Case Statement:
  1. A Catalogue of Groups/Projects involved in Physical Samples: 
  2. 23 things:

References related to the CARE Principles and operationalising them for Samples

  1. Carroll, S.R., Garba, I., Figueroa-Rodríguez, O.L., Holbrook, J., Lovett, R., Materechera, S., Parsons, M., Raseroka, K., Rodriguez-Lonebear, D., Rowe, R. and Sara, R., 2020. The CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance. Data Science Journal, 19: 43, pp. 1–12. DOI:  
  2. Carroll, S.R., Herczog, E., Hudson, M., Russell, K., and Stall, S., 2021. Operationalizing the CARE and FAIR Principles for Indigenous data futures. Scientific Data 8, 108.
  3. Hudson, M., Carroll, S. R., Anderson, J., Blackwater, D., Cordova-Marks, F. M., Cummins, J., David-Chavez, D., Fernandez, A., Garba, I., Hiraldo, D., Jäger, M. B., Jennings, L. L., Martinez, A., Sterling, R., Walker, J. D., & Rowe, R. K. (2023). Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in Data: A contribution toward Indigenous Research Sovereignty. Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics, 8.
  4. Mc Cartney, A. M., Head, M. A., Tsosie, K. S., Sterner, B., Glass, J. R., Paez, S., Geary, J., & Hudson, M. (2023). Indigenous peoples and local communities as partners in the sequencing of global eukaryotic biodiversity. Npj Biodiversity, 2(1), Article 1. 
  5. Taitingfong, R., Martinez, A., Carroll, S.R., Hudson, M., and Anderson, J., 2023. Indigenous Metadata Bundle Communique. Collaboratory for Indigenous Data Governance, ENRICH: Equity for Indigenous Research and Innovation Coordinating Hub, and Tikanga in Technology.  
  6.  “E Kore Au E Ngaro | The Connection Remains,” a film by the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board and Local Contexts
  7. The Collaboratory for Indigenous Data Governance Publications

Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 

ESIP/RDA Earth, Space, and Environmental Sciences IG

Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 

Data Versioning IG

Meeting presenters: 

Co-Chairs, Community Members, and Invited Speakers on CARE Principles as applied to Physical Samples

Are you willing to host a second, repeat, session at a different time zone?: