A GLOBAL REGISTRY FOR SCIENTIFIC COLLECTIONS: STRIKING A BALANCE BETWEEN DISCIPLINARY DETAIL AND INTERDISCIPLINARY DISCOVERABILITY
The goals of these registries are to (1) provide a single source of synoptic information about the collections, their institutions, and staff; and (2) facilitate the assignment of identifiers for institutions and collections that are globally unique across all disciplines. Institutional records include categorization by governance (e.g., national, state or local governmental, private non-profit) and by scientific discipline (e.g., earth science, biomedical, agricultural). Collection-level metadata categorize the types of contained specimens/samples and modes of preservation. In selecting the level of granularity for these categories, designers sought a compromise that would capture enough information to be useful in searches and inquiries and would complement the detailed archives in specimen-level databases hosted by discipline-specific groups (e.g. SESAR) or the institutions themselves (e.g. KE EMu).