Sample Identifier and Metadata Practices/Tools to Enable Interdisciplinary Sample Data Discovery, Integration, and Reuse Across Multiple Data Systems.

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06 Aug 2021
Meeting objectives: 

There have been a number of systems developed for the unique identification and description of physical (material) samples. Interdisciplinary variations are inevitable and must be supported by the infrastructure since no single facility or approach will suit all. However, sample identifier and metadata practices and tools developed within a single discipline must still enable data discovery, integration and reuse across multiple data systems. There has to be a balance between enabling interdisciplinary aggregations, without impacting on deeper disciplinary descriptions within the local or community-specific variations, that would enable greater and more effective use/reuse of a sample and its related data artefacts (e.g., observations, images, analytical data). 

What is required is a global ‘Framework’ that will leverage common elements within each ‘System’, but will still allow some inevitable differences to enable each ‘System’ to also meet its stakeholder needs. 


The objectives of this session is to bring together the global samples community to determine the key metadata elements across multiple sample communities that enable:

  1. Sample and data discovery; 

  2. Sample (meta)data access and linking across systems; and 

  3. Ensuring credit in reuse of samples and data.

Meeting agenda: 

Collaborative session notes:

  1. Welcome (5 minutes)

    1. Logistics & overview of session objectives, invitation to fill in attendance and invite participants to enter their samples projects in a crowd-sourced catalogue

  2. Review of ‘23 things’ Physical Samples (10 minutes)

    1. An overview of practical, free, online resources and tools (DRAFT)

  3.  Five-minute Lightning presentations on various major systems developing infrastructure for samples (20 minutes) 

    1. ESIP Samples Cluster: Draft Journal Guidance for Physical Samples and Associated data - Sarah Ramdeen

    2. New Projects and updates: iSamples/Sampling Nature - Sarah Ramdeen (on behalf of Kerstin Lehnert)

    3. Metadata Mapping (iSamples) - Steve Richards

    4. Update on partnership between DataCite and IGSN - Jens Klump

  4. Deep Dive: Use cases on Linking Related Physical Samples and Interdisciplinary Data. Introduction to the breakout sessions on reviewing identifiers, key metadata elements, and/or coordination efforts required for interdisciplinary sample data discovery, integration, and reuse across multiple data systems  (5 minutes) Joan Damerow

  5. Three concurrent breakout sessions (30 minutes each), selected by attendees on:

    1. Interdisciplinary Sample and Data Discovery (Steve Richards)

    2. Sample Meta(data) Access and Linking across Data Systems (Joan Damerow)

    3. Reuse of samples and data: what metadata is critical to ensure credit? (Lesley Wyborn)

  6. Circle back (15 minute) on: Joan Damerow

    1. Interdisciplinary Discovery

    2. Access and Linking

    3. Ensuring Credit in Reuse of Samples

  7.  Synthesis and Next steps (5 minutes) Lesley Wyborn

Target Audience: 

Anyone from any sector that is trying to integrate metadata and data on samples from multiple diverse communities.

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

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)

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 -

Short Group Status: 

The group formed at P10 in Montreal in September 2017 abd  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 catalog, 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 ill help individual communities identify what is truly unique about their samples but still make it easy to interoperate within the global samples ecosystem.  

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Meeting presenters: 
Lesley Wyborn, Jens Klump, Kerstin Lehnert, Esther Plomp and others Welcome (10 minutes) Logistics & overview of session objectives Review of ‘23 things’ Physical Samples (5 minutes) An overview of practical, free, online resources and tools (DRAFT) Intr