Latest News

July 2014

Jul 2014. SESAR version 5.0 is released, which includes a major change to the allocation of new IGSN namespaces. Namespaces now are five places in length, starting with the letters "IE" (for IEDA, which oversees the operation of SESAR). This change will accommodate the expansion of IGSN, through the IGSN e.V., to more allocating agents around the world. See more at this news item.


The new features now available, including those released in SESAR v4.6, include:


New Features

  1. New namespace syntax with 5 characters (beginning with IE), instead of 3 characters. This change will not affect existing IGSNs or namespaces.
  2. New web service for retrieving IGSNs for a specific namespace, documented on the SESAR API page.
  3. New sub-object types available nested under Individual Sample including bead, chemical fraction, cube, culture, cylinder, mechanical fraction, powder, slab, smear, specimen, squeeze cake, thin section, toothpick, U-channel and wedge.
  4. Support for a new printable label format, (Cryotags from Electron Microscopy Sciences, 77565-W).
  5. In batch registration, users may assign IGSNs with any of their namespaces (previously, only the primary namespace was allowed).
  6. Batch registration upload and preview functions have improved performance.
  7. Improvement: Data model now allows different URL link types, including DOI.

Bug Fixes

  1. Latitude end and longitude end now show up on the Edit page for dredge samples.
  2. Special symbols for Sample Type and Classification validation fixed, now allowing "Liquid>aqueous" in batch registration.


July 2014. IGSNs are going to change syntax from a 3 digit namespace to a 5 digit namespace, starting with IE (For IEDA, Integrated Earth Data Applications, the facility that oversees SESAR). This change will accommodate the expansion of IGSN, through the IGSN e.V., to more allocating agents around the world.


A new user will still choose a 3-digit alphanumeric namespace, for example ABC, and their IGSNs will be of the form: IEABC0001, where the first 5 digits are the full namespace and the last 4 digits are alphanumeric. This will give users 36^4 possible IGSNs, or over 1.5 million IGSNs.


This change will not affect existing IGSNs or namespaces, but will change all namespaces and IGSNs allocated by SESAR in the future.

If you are interested in becoming part of the SESAR power users group, with access to new features in development, reply to


May 2014

May 2014. For its 2014 NSF Review, IEDA:SESAR is preparing a summary of its first four years and a plan for the future. Help us by filling out a short (less than 5 minute) survey on your experiences with IEDA and your opinion on future developments. Your opinion is very important to us!


Take the 2014 IEDA Survey


More info: In 2014 the NSF will review IEDA's services to the community (including SESAR) and evaluate progress toward IEDA's strategic goals to determine its future path. Please help IEDA gather user feedback for this review by filling out the survey regarding your use of IEDA data collections and services in both your research and education activities. We encourage you to complete as much of the survey as you can and please remember to click "Submit" when you are finished. Send questions or comments to



April 2014

Apr 2014. Online papers in Science Direct link directly to sample metadata profiles in SESAR, making all of the metadata about the sample quickly available. When submitting a paper to Elsevier, tables with column headers "IGSN" or text with the prefix "IGSN:" will be identified and linked directly to 


See examples:


From the Elsevier news item:

We are delighted to highlight the ongoing cooperation with IEDA by announcing the first published papers with linked International Geo Sample Numbers (IGSN). Take a look at Table 2 of this Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta paper where you can click on specific IGSN numbers and be taken directly to the sample profile held in the SESAR sample metadata catalog at By setting up links between databases and published papers, data is more accessible and discoverable, which benefits all researchers in the field.

Apr 2014. SESAR tutorials make sample registration and management easier than ever!
Visit to find the SESAR tutorial that best suits your needs. We have tutorials that take you step-by-step through how to download and complete a batch registration template, how to upload a completed batch registration template, and how to manage your samples in MySESAR. These tutorials are up-to-date and include introductions to some of SESAR's most recently added features including the ability to group samples and print customized labels.

February 2014

Feb 2014. SESAR version 4.5 is released! Try it out and let us know what you think.


New features

  1. IGSN deactivation: An IGSN can be deactivated (a.k.a. deleted) by request to the SESAR Admin, when approved, the IGSN no longer shows up in the public search or in the user's MySESAR environment.
  2. Improvements to related file upload: More formats are allowed to upload and be attached to sample profiles: .xls, xlsx, .doc, .docx, .txt, .rtf, .pdf, .ps, .zip, .gz.
  3. Improvement to batch registration template: the template now has alternately colored lines to aid data entry.


Bug fixes

  1. Individual Sample Registration form improvement: better validation on latitude/longitude/elevation.
  2. Special characters such as åäö displaying correctly on the Sample profiles now.
  3. Batch registration validation: A recent bug caused by javascript functions or package failure on the Mac Chrome or Safari has been fixed.  IGSNs that are not 9 digits are no longer allowed to be uploaded via batch uploader.
  4. Sample deletion request bug fixed and the feature is functional again.


November 2013

Nov 2013. Please, join us for this town hall to learn about ongoing and new developments that advance access, identification, and citation of physical samples in the geosciences and the management of geoscience collections through the use of cyberinfratsructure and information technology. Learn about the IGSN (International Geo Sample Number) and its international implementation organization, IGSN eV, the System for Earth Sample Registration SESAR, and the DESC project (Digital Environment for Sample Curation).
AGU Town Hall "Physical Samples in the Digital Age"
Monday, Dec 9, 2013, 12:30-1:30PM
Moscone West room 2008
Questions or comments to

October 2013

Oct 2013. SESAR version 4.4 is released! There have been major developments to MySESAR functionality and Batch Sample Registration. Try it out and let us know what you think


New features

  1. Filter by IGSN: The Sample List in MySESAR can now be filtered by IGSN to display samples of the user's choice.
  2. Customized your Sample List view in MySESAR: In MySESAR, a new link for "Add Column(s)" allows users to display additional fields for better sample management.
  3. Customized Label printing: The label printing has been customized so that you can choose which fields to display on the label, including Sample Other Name, Depth (min) and Depth (max), and Collection Date.
  4. Direct links to Sample profile pages in the Downloaded file: Metadata downloads from SESAR now include a hyperlink that opens the sample profile page in your default browser.
  5. Batch Registration improvements: The new layout of the batch registration template improves readability; error checking of uploaded files in the Batch Registration has been extended; instructions for fixing batch registration template errors have been improved; and controlled vocabularies are now case insensitive.  
  6. New Developer's Document posted: SESAR webservices API documentation is posted on the IEDA webservices page.


Bug fixes

  1. Fixed a bug that did not display or allow editing of Depth (min) and Depth (max) for certain object types. 


July 2013

Jul 2013. SESAR version 4.3 is released! The major new feature is the ability to group samples in MySESAR. Try it out and let us know what you think.


New features

  1. Sample Grouping: Create, edit, and view customized groups of SESAR samples. There is a new tab in MySESAR called My Groups. Create groups for projects, loan groups, field programs, or funding awards. You can add samples both from your own namespace or from other namespaces. These groups will be saved in your SESAR workspace. To help us guide future development, use the orange feedback tab on the right side of this page to let us know how you intend to use SESAR groups.
  2. Automatic notification of new batch registrations: When you successfully submit a new batch registration template, our data managers are notified immediately. This has improved response time for registration of SESAR batches. 


Bug fixes

  1. A fix for the Chrome browser now allows negative numbers to be entered into the latitude, longitude, and elevation fields during Individual sample registration.
  2. When entering Geologic Age and Geologic Unit in individual sample registration, non-numeric entries are now allowed.
  3. Sample profiles with release dates in the future can no longer be accessed by the Search IGSN box on the front web page or by direct URL query. A message is displayed that indicates the information is not yet public. Previously, these samples were only excluded from the catalog search.
  4. Batch registrations will not be be uploaded if error messages still exist. The errors must be corrected before the batch can be uploaded.

June 2013

June 2013. Thanks to everyone who participated in the DESC (Digital Environment for Sample Curation) Webinar. The materials are posted on this page.






  • .mov file (48 MB) 
  • Depending on your browser settings, the .mov might open directly in your browser, or download to your default folder. 
  • Do you prefer a different video format? Let us know by emailing or using the orange feedback tab on the right side of the window.



  • Visit the DESC Webinar Discussion page to see contributions from the webinar participants. Please, send further comments by clicking on the 'feedback' button at the right side of this window.



  • DESC Repository Survey: We need your help in gathering requirements for DESC. Please, tell us about your data management and sample curation challenges.


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