For many DCO scientists, collecting and storing field samples is a critical aspect of their work. Acquiring new physical samples can be expensive and difficult, especially in situations where sample collection requires large research expeditions to remote locations. By utilizing existing sample collections, scientists can save time, money, and effort that would otherwise be spent collecting samples from the field.
Physical sample repositories all over the world curate these invaluable materials, but finding information on each scientific collection and the samples they store can be time-consuming. To help scientists more easily access repository information, a recent DCO-funded project aimed to collect information on scientific collections into one easy-access location. Project leader Beverly Blakeney DeJarnett (University of Texas at Austin, Bureau of Economic Geology, USA) compiled over 100 international and US geologic and bio‐geologic scientific collections relevant to the DCO community. Using DeJarnett’s database, the DCO Data Science Team produced a searchable browser of scientific collections on the DCO Data Portal.
“We wanted to create a resource for DCO scientists who need to locate samples to use in their research,” said DeJarnett. “In the Scientific Collections Browser, members of the network can now search across a whole suite of repositories to find what they need.”
For each scientific collection, the database includes:
· A link to the collection website
· A link to the online catalog (if available)
· Sample types (e.g., minerals, cores)
· Sample curation methods (e.g., hard‐frozen, refrigerated, climate‐controlled, ambient conditions)
· Geographical information on where the samples were collected (if available)
DeJarnett also created an open access report that describes best practices for sample collection, which include metadata collection and assigning unique object identification numbers to all samples. Following these best practices ensures that your samples will be accessible to future researchers.
Download the full report here.
The scientific collection browser is available in the deepcarbon.net navigation bar under “Data Portal,” or by clicking here. Flip through all available collection data, or type in keywords to search collections for specific repository locations, sample curation methods, or sample types. For more information, or to add additional information to the scientific collections database, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org(Ahmed Eleish) of the DCO Data Science Team.