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Presentation at AGU Fall Meeting 2018. Abstract at https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm18/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/351542: PIDs such as DOI and ORCID have been successfully implemented globally and across disciplines to identify track and relate digital objects and persons, respectively. In recent years, the International Geo Sample Number (IGSN) has also seen increasing uptake as a PID for physical samples that ensures unambiguous citation and tracking of physical samples and links samples to data and publications.
Originally developed for the solid Earth Sciences, the IGSN has evolved into an international system for all disciplines that need to refer to physical samples. IGSN leverages the existing Handle system as its technical basis and follows, while following the example of DataCite for its governance structure and technical architecture. The recent expansion of the IGSN beyond the geosciences confirms the power of its concept and implementation, but imposes substantial pressures on the existing capacity and capabilities of the IGSN architecture and its governing organization. Significant updates to the IGSN organisational and technical architecture are necessary at this point to keep pace with the growing demand and expectations. The current business model needs to be revised as it is no longer able to sustain the organization through the necessary professionalization of its operations.
A recent award from the Sloan Foundation is now supporting activities to re-design and improve the existing organization and technical architecture of the International Geo Sample Number (IGSN) for it to be able to respond to, and support in a sustainable manner, the rapidly growing demands of a global and increasingly multi-disciplinary user community in a landscape of maturing research data infrastructures.