A Scientific Author Guide for Publishing Open Research Using Physical Samples
Material samples are foundational for research across a wide range of biological, environmental, and other interdisciplinary sciences. Their value and the value of the data derived from them depend to a large extent on the way we describe, identify, and reference them in publications and datasets. Use of globally unique and persistent sample identifiers and availability of rich and consistent information (metadata and data) about a sample on the web are critical for making samples and sample data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR). This guide presents best practices for supporting open science for samples, developed by the Physical Sample Curation Cluster of the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) organization. Following this guidance will help ensure that we are able to track use of samples over time, which enables reproducible research, future data integration, reuse, and credit. The ESIP Physical Sample Curation Cluster is a forum for the community supporting physical samples in the earth, space, and environmental sciences. The working group consists of individual researchers who collect and work with physical samples, curators and collections managers, and cyberinfrastructure providers and developers.