Latest News

April 2015

Apr 2015. SESAR version 6.2 is released, which includes many new features and improvements in response to user requests.


One area of major improvement is in the web services for programmatically registering samples. Read about SESAR web services API documentation.


Other major improvements include the addition of new metadata fields requested by researchers from the Critical Zone Observatories (CZO) (e.g. CZO researchers have many terrestrial samples and requested the ability to store UTM coordinates).


Another major area of improvement is more robust error-checking during batch and individual sample registration, to ensure that the data entered into the database is aligned.


Read all of the improvements at the SESAR Release Notes page


If you have any questions or comments about the new features, contact

Apr 2015. There will be a splinter meeting at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2015. Members of the IGSN e.V. will be in attendance.
What: A discussion of Digital Representation of Physical Samples in Scientific Publications
When: Monday, 13 April, 17:30-19:00
Where: Room R10
We invite anybody who is concerned with physical samples collected in the Earth Sciences and how to best integrate these samples with digital data and information infrastructure. The objective of this meeting is to discuss recent advances in leading practices of unambiguously linking physical samples to the data and literature derived on them, and encourage their adoption. This meeting is organized by the leadership team of the International Geo Sample Number Implementation Organization, IGSN e.V. (
For more information, please contact Kerstin Lehnert.

February 2015

Feb 2015. The number of new samples registered in SESAR over the last four months was more than triple that registered over the same period of time last year. In addition to an increase in registrations and batches submitted, there has also been an increase in the number of different namespaces (owned by individuals or institutions) being used to register samples.
From Oct. 2013 to Feb. 2014, 8,817 samples from 21 namespaces were registered. Over that period of time, 33 batch registration templates were uploaded.
From Oct. 2014 to Feb. 2015, 29,084 samples (+230%) from 36 namespaces (+70%) were registered. Over that period of time, 96 batch registration templates (+190%) were uploaded.
The increases seen in SESAR registrations show that more researchers and organizations are finding SESAR and the IGSN to be useful tools for managing their physical samples and the metadata pertaining to them, as well as for making their physical samples discoverable in the global SESAR sample catalog. To learn more about the benefits of SESAR and the IGSN and how to start registering your physical samples, please visit and see the tutorials at

January 2015

Jan 2015. We are collecting photos of IGSN labels in action! As our International GeoSample Number community grows, IGSNs are being used for an increasing number of cases. Core pieces, diamonds, water samples, cuttings... let's share how we're using the IGSN with our samples.


Submit your photos by tweeting to @igsn_info or emailing



November 2014

Nov 2014. The IGSN e.V. will be hosting several events at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco. Join us to learn more about IGSN and celebrate ten years of the International Geo Sample Number!

When: Sunday, December 14th


Where: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Room Pacific J; 780 Mission St.



  • 3:00 pm: IGSN e.V. General Assembly (closed meeting)
  • 4:00 pm: IGSN Information Session (RSVP)
  • 5:00 pm: Celebration of Ten Years of IGSN (RSVP)


For more information, contact

Learn how to manage and link samples with IGSNs.


October 2014

Oct 2014. The International Implementation Organization for the IGSN (IGSN e.V.) invites applications for new members before its next General Assembly in December 2014. The IGSN Implementation Organization operates the international IGSN registration service, and implements and promotes standard methods to locate, identify, and cite physical samples with confidence.


Membership in the IGSN Implementation Organization is open to organizations who wish to run their own IGSN allocating service. Organizations who have an interest in the purpose and objectives of the IGSN Implementation Organization (but do not plan to become an IGSN allocating agent) are welcome as Affiliate Members with an advisory function and the right to attend the General Assembly. The amount and due date of annual membership fees will be determined by the General Assembly. The membership fee is currently 500 euros per year.


Membership applications are due by November 30, 2014, to allow time for review before the General Assembly at the Fall AGU.


An informational session on the IGSN will also be held at the Fall AGU on Sunday, December 14, at 4pm, location TBD. Please RSVP for this informational session at

More information about the IGSN (International Geo Sample Number) is available at:

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 For more information please see the International Geo Sample Number section in Elsevier's Guide for Authors


See examples:

  • Beier et al., 2018, Lithos (Table 1)
  • Dere et al., 2013, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (Table 2)

    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.