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Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.


Records of environmental samples, such as minerals, soil, rocks, water, air and plants, are distributed across legacy databases, spreadsheets or other proprietary data systems. Sharing and integration of the sample records across the Web requires globally unique identifiers. These identifiers are essential in order to locate samples unambiguously and to manage their associated metadata and data systematically. The International Geo Sample Number (IGSN) is a persistent, globally unique label for identifying environmental samples. IGSN can be resolved to a digital representation of the sample through the Handle system. IGSN names are registered by end-users through allocating agents, which are the institutions acting on behalf of the IGSN registration agency. As an IGSN allocating agent, our goal is to implement a web service based on existing open source tools to streamline the processes of registering IGSNs and for managing and disseminating sample metadata. In this paper, we present our ongoing work on the design and development of the web service, and its data schema and database model for capturing key aspects of environmental samples. We show how existing controlled vocabularies can be incorporated into the service development to support the metadata registration of different types of samples. The proposed sample registration and curating approach has been trialed in the context of the Capricorn Distal Footprints project on a range of different sample types, varying from water to hard rock samples. The initial results demonstrate the effectiveness of the service while maintaining the flexibility to adapt to various media types, which is critical in the context of a multi-disciplinary project.



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