What Are the Benefits of the IGSN?
The IGSN has a wide-ranging impact on sample and data management that benefit the geosciences:
New Opportunities for Data Syntheses
The IGSN allows to unambiguously link data for individual samples that were generated in different labs and published in different articles or data systems. This new ability will provide new opportunities for data syntheses.
Building Comprehensive Datasets
It has been a long-standing problem in the geosciences that samples lose their "identity" as their names get changed when aliquots are passed from one investigator to another. The IGSN is a persistent identifier that allows to track a sample through its history. It will provide a central linkage for investigators to be able to build on previously collected data as new techniques become available and new measurements are made.
Advancing Interoperability Among Geoinformatics Data Systems
The ability to unambiguously identify a sample by means of the IGSN will dramatically advance interoperability among digital data systems, allowing the sharing and integration of data across disciplines and borders and thus fostering new cross-disciplinary approaches in science.
Sharing and Re-use of Samples
Unique sample identification will facilitate sharing of samples and sample-based data. Samples will be much more efficiently used. SESAR integrates the IGSN metadata profiles into a Global Sample Catalog where scientists are able to find out if samples that are relevant for their projects have already been collected, where they are archived, and who they can contact.