Session Title: Challenges and Opportunities Moving Forward for The Management and Curation of Physical Objects in the Digital Era

Session Organisers: Colleen Strawhacker, Denise Hills, Heidi McCann

Session Description:

In recent years, data managementefforts have become increasingly important to scientists and funding agencies,as data are rapidly being lost to changing format standards, failing harddrives, lack of metadata, and a host of other issues resulting from poor datamanagement. Much of the investment in data management has been focused on thecuration and management of digital resources, but physical samples play animportant role in many disciplines, including geology, ecology, the life sciences,archaeology, and beyond. To ensure these samples (often collected with greatexpense in time and financial resources), attention needs to be paid to theirlong-term curation and ability to link these physical samples to the digitaldata often rendered from these samples through a variety of laboratory andfield tests. 

Unique challenges face themanagement and curation of these physical samples in an increasingly digitalera, including but not limited to, (1) inconsistent practices related tophysical sample management and curation, (2) catalog interoperability, (3)ethical and legal issues surrounding curation, (4) ownership and access toIndigenous and archaeological artifacts, (5) differing international, federal,and state laws dictating sample curation and ownership, and (6) unclear orlacking standards for universal unique identifiers for objects and mechanismsto connect these to related digitized data. This session is designed to sparkconversation to develop harmonized approaches and best practices for physicalobject identification and ethical curation of those objects. With improvedlinkages between object repositories and museums, digital data repositories,scientific publications, and members of the scientific communities, physicalsamples will be more accessible for continued scientific insight.

Drawing upon the expertise andefforts of the CODATA Task Group Scienceand the Management of Physical Objects in the Digital Era, building uponconversations during the 7th Research Data Alliance Plenary,and encouraging a variety of viewpoints(from the physical and social sciences to Indigenous communities), this sessionwill consist of 4-5 connected lightning talks followed by a panel withestablished discussion questions to encourage audience involvement and input oncreating a vision for the management of physical objects in the digital era. Weexpect to have speakers on a variety of topics related to the unique challengesof physical objects in the digital era. Preliminarily identified speakers willaddress issues of legacy sample and data challenges (including objectdegradation, lost metadata, etc.), International Geo Sample Number (IGSN) and unique identifiers forsamples, agile data curation and its relationship to physical objects,and the ethical and legal issues concerning the curation of physical samplesand artifacts.


This session has 6 papers.


This session has 0 posters.