Services

SESAR offers services to advance the management and sharing of samples in the Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences. SESAR’s services are meant to support a community of scientific researchers who value open access, discovery and sharing of samples and sample metadata in an effort to promote a workplace of collaboration.

SESAR’s services are developed and operated with and for a diverse community that includes

  • Researchers, who collect, curate, and use samples in their research projects, and publish sample-based observations and measurements
  • Institutions that house and manage research sample collections, including sample or core repositories, museums, research departments, laboratories, and others
  • Developers and data management specialists, who build and maintain data infrastructure for sample data and metadata
  • Publishers of Earth, environmental, and planetary science journals, who support open, transparent, and reproducible science
  • Funders who support the collection, analysis, and curation of physical samples

SESAR’s sample catalog represents an extremely valuable resource for the sample community. The catalog allows researchers to discover existing samples that are relevant to their research, and the identity of the registrant, which aids in locating the samples’ current location.

The SESAR Catalog Search allows users to

  • Search the SESAR catalog by geospatial information, sample type, sample classification, archive, and other criteria.
  • View individual sample profiles.
  • View samples locations on maps.
  • Download lists of samples.

The SESAR Catalog Search can be found here.

SESAR can help your personal and institutional sample management. By registering your samples with SESAR, you will

  • Create a catalog of your samples
  • Ensure preservation of all information about your samples
  • Allow researchers to discover your samples to start new collaborations

 

MySESAR is your private working space in the System for Earth Sample Registration. MySESAR allows you to:

  • Obtain IGSNs for your samples by registering them with SESAR.
  • Register samples one at a time by entering metadata into a web form.
  • Generate customized SESAR spreadsheet forms to register multiple samples at once.
  • View and edit metadata profiles of samples that you have registered.
  • Upload images and related documents such as field notes, maps, or links to publications to a sample profile.
  • Transfer ownership of a sample to another SESAR user.
  • Restrict access to metadata profiles of your samples.
  • MySESAR functionality can be tailored to personal and institutional sample management.

 

Using MySESAR

In order to use MySESAR, you need to login using your GeoPass ID and password.

If you do not have a GeoPass ID, please sign up for a GeoPass account.

SESAR allows users to store sample metadata in an easily accessible, shareable and discoverable manner. SESAR also acts as a central location for lab groups and collaborators to store sample metadata. Registering a sample in SESAR allows for a sample’s history to be tracked as it is passed from one investigator to another.

In addition, SESAR Curators assist with metadata review as part of our Batch Registration process, and when onboarding new users to our Web Services.  SESAR Curators are available to guide you through the submission process, map your metadata to SESAR’s metadata fields, and validate your metadata against SESAR’s requirements.  For assistance, contact us at info@geosamples.org.

IGSN stands for International Geo Sample Number. The IGSN is an alphanumeric code that uniquely identifies samples taken from our natural environment (for example: rock specimens, water samples, sediment cores), as well as related sampling features (sites, stations, stratigraphic sections, etc.).

As part of our registration services, SESAR is an ‘Allocating Agent’ for the IGSN e.V., the implementation organization of the IGSN.  We provide IGSN during the registration process, and maintain the metadata profile pages that IGSN ‘resolve’ to. In addition to the registration metadata required by the IGSN e.V., SESAR collects and maintains descriptive metadata unique to the SESAR community.

Except in special cases*, IGSNs obtained from SESAR are 9 characters long. IGSNs obtained from Allocating Agents other than SESAR may have different syntax, but all are guaranteed to be globally unique via a central registry.

Examples:

1) IGSN: HRV003M16   (Registered object: Malachite specimen from Angola, registered by the Mineralogical Museum of Harvard University)

2) IGSN: WHO000BC7  (Registered object: Dredge CHAIN35-2 St18 D18, registered by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

 

Syntax for IGSNs from SESAR:

The IGSN is a “mostly unintelligent” identifier. For namespaces assigned after June 2014, the first five characters of the IGSN represent a name space (what SESAR refers to as a User Code) that uniquely identifies the person or institution who registers the sample. The first two characters will be IE, followed by 3 characters of the registrant’s choosing. The last 4 characters of the IGSN are a random string of alphanumeric characters (0-9, A-Z). The IGSN follows the syntax of the URN (Uniform Resource Name) which is composed of a ‘Namespace Identifier’ (NID), a unique, short string, and the ‘Namespace Specific String’ (NSS).

The length of the IGSN has been limited to 9* characters to keep it short enough for use on sample labels and for inclusion in data tables of publications (the number of characters is similar to data, for example, Sr isotope data typically use a 8 character string such as 0.703456). The IGSN is long enough for large institutions such as repositories or museums to register large numbers of samples (with 10 numbers plus 26 letters for the 4 random characters after the user code, a total of 36^4 = 1,679,616 sample identifiers per namespace are available).

IGSN namespaces that were obtained before July 2014 may have three character namespaces followed by a random string of 6 alphanumeric characters (e.g. examples #1 and # 2 above). For more information see this news item.

*Starting in July 2017, SESAR users were allowed to register samples with IGSNs of up to 32 characters in length (0-9, A-Z, ‘-‘, ‘.’). This syntax follows recommendations of the IGSN e.V. The extended syntax is primarily intended for use by large repositories, where it may be necessary to use hierarchical syntax conventions. However, with human readability in mind as well as the fact that the IGSNs appear on-line and in print, the IGSN e.V. recommends that the IGSN should be as concise as possible. If you are considering assigning IGSNs to your samples that are longer than 9 characters, please contact info@geosamples.org to discuss.

SESAR offers a set of REST web services to allow client programs to interact with SESAR systems. SESAR REST web services allows for client programs to perform acts such as registering samples, search for lists of IGSN based on geospatial polygons and updating sample metadata. For more information on SESAR web services and how to access them see our technical documentation (SESAR GitHub). SESAR also provides WMS and WFS for external application integration.