Thursday, May 07, 2015

The Global Registry of Biorepositories (GRBio)

Wouldn't it be great, if we had a registry of all the collections with biological collection including the baseline information, contact addresses, and even better a list of all their specimens, DNA-samples extracted from the samples, images or publications not only by their staff, but those including specimens in the collection? Whilst much of this may lay in the future, one simple element, a unique persistent identifier for each of the collection would be extremely helpful, so we could link our taxonomic publications with those institutions, once and for ever.

Whilst I have been reviewing a manuscript this morning I suggested in the review, that the authors ought to add a link to the respective institutions in the Global Registry of Biorepositories. Somehow I suddenly felt, I had to look up some of the collections - and it seems well worth it.

CAS California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, U.S.A.   Is not in the registry….
MCB D. Mezger Collection, Balingen, Germany  Is not in the registry….
NHMW Natural History Museum Vienna, Austria Is not in the registry….
NMM National Museum of the Philippines, Manila, the Philippines MPMP Which is not the name provided in the ms
UKL University of Koblenz-Landau (Campus Landau), Germany Is not in the registry….
WCD P.S. Ward Collection, Davis, California, U.S.A. Is not in the registry….
SCV D.M. Sorger Collection, Vienna, Austria Is not in the registry….
ZCV H. Zettel Collection, Vienna, Austria Is not in the registry….

So, not exactly helpful, and obviously one can not recommend to go ahead right now.

But what I found much more astonishing is that all the discussions in our domain regarding Linked Open Data, persistent identifiers (eg Guralnick et al., 2015; Bouchout Declaration) seems unheard off. How comes, that a new project is launched without giving this a top priority?


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