GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 105-6
Presentation Time: 9:15 AM


LEHNERT, Kerstin Annette, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory 61 Route 9W, Columbia Univ, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964 and CARTER, Megan, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964,

Physical samples studied in the field sciences, including geosciences, biology, and archeology, represent both a research resource and a research product. As such they need to be properly managed, curated, documented, and cited to ensure that they can be re-used and utilized for future science, that the data generated by their study can be reproduced, and that funding agencies and researchers get credit for the substantial resources and intellectual effort that they invested into their collection and curation. This presentation will report on activities and progress of two closely related community efforts in the Earth sciences that aim to develop and implement best practices to improve discovery, access, and sharing of scientific samples to advance reproducible science: the International Geo Sample Number IGSN and the iSamples Research Coordination Network.

The International Geo Sample Number (IGSN) is a persistent identifier for physical samples. Its adoption by individual investigators, repository curators, publishers, and data managers has been growing rapidly world-wide, and use of IGSN for sample citation is now recommended by major journals in the Earth sciences. The IGSN implementation organization IGSN e.V. has members in 4 continents, and 5 Allocating Agents in the US, Australia, and Germany are registering samples for their user communities. Recent achievements include the development of the IGSN metadata schema for describing samples with a set of properties that describe a sample’s origin and classification in a “birth certificate” for the sample; the prototype of a central IGSN metadata catalog that harvests descriptive metadata from OAI-PHM providers at IGSN Allocating Agents, and Linked Data patterns for IGSN metadata.

The Internet of Samples in the Earth Sciences (iSamples) is an initiative funded as a Research Coordination Network within the EarthCube program to better connect physical samples and sample collections across the Earth Sciences with digital data infrastructures to revolutionize their utility for science. Several working groups within iSamples have created a wide range of resources from metadata schemas to educational materials that support this mission. A major focus of iSamples for the next phase will be the preservation and access of the actual physical samples for re-use.