The joint ESIP/RDA Physical Samples webinar in October will explore current and planned approaches to support interdisciplinary sample data discovery, integration, and reuse from the perspectives of experts in geoscience, genomics, and biodiversity sample data.
There is a growing need to support physical sample data management, discovery, and reuse for interdisciplinary work. In fact, many scientific projects utilize a variety of biological and environmental sample types to help address interdisciplinary questions, such as those involving ecosystem processes. A unified approach to report basic information about samples and federated search tools can therefore help facilitate sample discovery, access, data synthesis, and interdisciplinary research. Kerstin Lehnert will discuss how the ‘Sampling Nature’ Research Coordination Network and the iSamples (Internet of Samples) efforts plan to advance community collaboration and cyberinfrastructure for sample data discovery across disciplines. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Genbank database has a long history of providing openly available genomic DNA sequencing information, with lessons that are useful to a broader physical samples community. Ilene Karsch Mizrachi will discuss how data linkages make it easier to find, integrate, and reuse genomics data stored at NCBI and specimens housed in repositories. Ontologies offer precisely defined vocabularies, robust pathways for data integration, and support for automated machine reasoning. John Deck will then present an approach for using ontologies to assist with integrating and linking biodiversity data while inferring new information from source datasets. More fully supporting interdisciplinary science may require integrating certain semantic and identifier approaches across a range of scientific disciplines.