GRSciColl: The Global Registry of Scientific Collections

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Cephalotes integerrimus. Photo by Vincent Perrichot via AntWeb, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

After several months offline, GRSciColl has found a new home at GBIF.org. For now, the data is read-only, but that will change in the future.

GRSciColl is a comprehensive, community-curated clearinghouse of information about object-based scientific collections.

GRSciColl includes data on institutions, collections and associated staff members and spans all scientific disciplines, including earth and space sciences, anthropology, archaeology, biology and biomedicine, as well as applied fields like agriculture, veterinary medicine and technology.

GRSciColl also serves as the registry for InstitutionCodes and CollectionCodes—elements used in the DarwinCore data standard used in the biodiversity informatics community. Use of these terms enables publications and databases to point unambiguously to collections and their contents.

The main goals of GRSciColl are:

  1. To improve access to information about institutions the scientific collections they hold and to facilitate access to the staff members who manage them
  2. To improve interoperability among databases by providing unique codes and machine-readable identifiers for institutions and collections

The next phase of development will open the registry to validated users for submissions and edits. Subsequent stages will engage other partners to support functionality like linking collections to specimens, tracking DOI-based citations of collections and supporting or enhancing various collection metadata schemas.

GRSciColl data sources and maintenance

Staff members from institutions and collections originally contributed the information contained in GRSciColl, either directly or through predecessors like the NCBI Institution table and Collection table, Biorepositories.org, the Index Herbariorum or the Biodiversity Collections Index.

GBIF intends to restore this community-curation functionality in 2019, thus enabling community members working within each of the institutions and collections to help keep the information contained in the registry up to date.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at helpdesk@gbif.org.