UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications

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Program in Molecular Medicine

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Article Preprint


Biotechnology | Data Science | Laboratory and Basic Science Research | Research Methods in Life Sciences


The exchange of biological material and data has become an issue of major importance for research in biotechnology. At the same time, many reports indicate problems with quality, trustworthiness and reproducibility of research results, mainly due to poor documentation of data generation or collection of samples. Consequently, there is an urgent need for improved and standardized documentation of data and specimen used in research studies. In response to these issues, we are developing a provenance information standard for the biotechnology domain within the ISO Technical Committee 276 “Biotechnology”. The major objectives of the standard, now registered as ISO/WD 23494, are improved reproducibility of research results, enabling the assessment of the quality of biological samples and data, traceability and higher reliability of observations. We are convinced that the standardization project is of substantial interest to a broader audience, who we would also invite to comment and contribute to this comprehensive effort.


provenance, standardization, ISO

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Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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Holub, Petr, Wittner, Rudolf, Mascia, Cecilia, Frexia, Francesca, Müller, Heimo, Plass, Markus, Allocca, Clare, Betsou, Fay, Burdett, Tony, Cancio, Ibon, Chapman, Adriane, Chapman, Martin, Courtot, Melanie, Curcin, Vasa, Eder, Johann, Elliot, Mark, Exter, Katrina, Fairweather, Elliot, Goble, Carole, Golebiewski, Martin, Kisler, Bron, Kremer, Andreas, Lin-Gibson, Sheng, Marsano, Anna, Mattavelli, Marco, Moore, Josh, Nakae, Hiroki, Perseil, Isabelle, Salman, Ayat, Sluka, James, Soiland-Reyes, Stian, Strambio-De-Castillia, Caterina, Sussman, Michael, Swedlow, Jason R., Zatloukal, Kurt, Geiger, Jörg. Towards a Common Standard for Data and Specimen Provenance in Life Sciences. Zenodo; 2021. Link to preprint on Zenodo.


This article is a preprint. Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been certified by peer review.

Full author list omitted for brevity. For the full list of authors, see article.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.