Protocols and data

Sampling eggs of Black-tailed Gull in Korea
© National Environmental Specimen Bank (South Korea)

Standardized sampling, sample preparation, and archiving is essential when time trends in contamination are analysed because differences in sample handling can distort the results of chemical analysis. Therefore, most ESBs have their own protocols that specify the different steps from field to archive. Some protocols are publicly available.

Protocols and data


Accessibility of data

  • The number and type of archived samples and results of chemical analysis are partly available on the website of ESBs (e.g. German ESB). Many websites also highlight relevant publications related to the archived samples.
  • For ESBs, such as the Canadian National Aquatic Biological Specimen Bank (NABSB) all information is maintained within a secured relational database. All specimens received and/or collected are registered and assigned with successive and unique identification numbers. The database maintains all biological data (length, age, etc.) associated with each specimen number as well as data with regard to location, collection methods, storage and the results of all chemical analyses that have been performed on the specimen.

Accessibility of samples

  • For many ESBs such as the NABSB, tissue samples are available for collaborative research projects. The release of specimens for research purposes adheres to the respective institute policies and generally depends on the scientific merit, availability of sufficient tissue quantities, and co-authorship on resulting publications.
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