Specimen Curation




Steps, Methods, & Process

Specimen "Processing"- storage and preservation

  • initial storage. (documentation) TaxonomicProcess.SOPS?
    • sorting.
    • "lot" labelling.
  • further Processing (where appropiate) (documentation) TaxonomicProcess.SOPS?
    • preservation (drying, preservation,freezing)
    • mounting
  • Compliance (recording and reporting as appropiate) TaxonomicProcess.SOPS? ComplianceRegistry?


  • Labelling (see TaxonomicProcess.Labels? )
  • Determination (see TaxonomicProcess.Nomenclature?, TaxonomicProcess.TaxonDatabases? (AFD, APNI) )
    • refinement of Identification (see TaxonomicProcess.TaxonomicKeys? e.g Identification tools (Delta, Lucid) )
  • interpretation and refinement of field notes
  • Databasing (Specimen databases e.g ANHSIR, Biolink, ANWC database)
    • accession & storage of files and other electronic media
    • specimen details
  • Further Processing
    • further mounting
    • preservation
  • entry into the collection (as appropiate record location in collection)

Collections Curation (further)

  • Storage
  • tracking changing specimen status
  • Databasing, Determinations & specimen storage ( requires good TaxonomicProcess.Labels? )
    • accounting for change (revisions, disputes, conceptual instability)
    • refinement of documentation
  • data cleaning
  • lending and interchange
  • Samples
    • sample and sub sample storage (LIMS?)

Pinch Points



Related Issues

Laboratory Information Systems (LIMS)

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Accession ANWC style style

Preparation and accession

Lab stage 1: tissue samples into -80 freezer; regno -> freezer location recorded in notebook.

Lab stage 2: preliminary data entry i.e. of minimum dataset from field book -> paper report of specimens provided to next stage.

Lab stage 3: preparation -> record/refine documentation hand-written on report from previous stage; result is the skin, bones/skull if keeping these separately OR the complete specimen in spirit, all with preliminary labels. Actually not sure of the spirit process.

Lab stage 4: complete data entry with data from previous stage.

Lab stage 5: produce formal specimen tags (using database admin system designed for the purpose.

Lab stage 6: final specimen checking by relevant curator; species identification confirmed and hand-written in pencil on the back of the tag -> tag applied to specimen -> specimen placed in the vault

Have to work out how to get "continual" (or periodic?) update of these from the AFD and apply them to the specimens in the database, without interfering with curatorial preferences for naming. This is another process which can be worked out once the AFD gets its act together (under Greg Whitbread) and will presumably be done with the assistance of LSids.

-- MargaretC - 06 Jul 2008

other resources Main.HubRISLinks#Accession

-- GarryJolleyRogers - 22 Jul 2008