Collaborative Research: Frameworks: Internet of Samples: Toward an Interdisciplinary Cyberinfrastructure for Material Samples

Lead PI: Dr. Kerstin A. Lehnert , David Vieglais

Unit Affiliation: Marine and Polar Geophysics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

August 2020 - July 2024
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: The Internet of Samples (iSamples) is a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional project to design, develop, and promote service infrastructure to uniquely, consistently, and conveniently identify material samples, record metadata about them, and persistently link them to other samples and derived digital content, including images, data, and publications. The project will create a flexible and scalable architecture to ensure broad adoption and implementation by diverse stakeholders. iSamples will build upon existing identifier infrastructure such as IGSNs (Global Sample Number;) and ARKs (Archival Resource Keys), but is agnostic to identifier type. Likewise, iSamples will encourage a high-level metadata standard for natural history samples (across biosciences, geosciences, and archaeology), while supporting community-developed metadata standards in specialist domains. Through integration with established discipline-specific infrastructure at the System for Earth Sample Registration SESAR (geoscience), CyVerse (bioscience), and Open Context (archaeology), iSamples will extend existing capabilities, enhance consistency, and expand their reach to serve science and society much more broadly. The project includes three main objectives: 1) Design and develop iSamples infrastructure (iSamples in a Box and iSamples Central); 2) Build four initial implementations of iSamples for adoption and use case testing (Open Context, GEOME, SESAR, and Smithsonian Institution); and 3) Conduct outreach and community engagement to developers, individual researchers, and international organizations concerned with material samples. The project will follow an agile development process that includes community engagement as an important element of creating software requirements and an implementation timeline.


National Science Foundation




The University of Kansas



infrastructure software metadata resource management cyberinfrastructure


Sustainable living