Columbia University

To develop a global, scalable, and sustainable technical and organizational infrastructure for persistent unique identifiers of physical scientific samples

  • Amount $384,633
  • City New York, NY
  • Investigator Kerstin Lehnert
  • Year 2018
  • Program Technology
  • Sub-program Scholarly Communication

The International Geo Sample Number (IGSN) grew out of an initial need to foster better citation of geological samples. As of mid-2018, there are over 6.5 million individual physical specimens represented within the IGSN, and a network of 25 IGSN “allocating agents” across five continents. After a number of years of growth within geoscience, the IGSN is confronted with increased interest from other disciplines; for example, the IGSN has already been used to register IDs for biological specimens and archaeological artifacts. Rather than encourage the development of a number of different discipline-specific registries, Lehnert and an international team of collaborators plan to redesign IGSN to support physical samples and specimens from across the sciences. Funds from this grant support technical development of the IGSN platform and a series of working meetings to bring together current IGSN registrars, other stakeholders, and persistent identifier (PID) experts to strategically plan the organizational and technical future of the initiative.

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