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BioSamples, IIDP, RRID collaboration announcement


The Resource Identification, RRID, Initiative began working with the BioSamples databases in the EU and US in order to identify the pancreatic islets used by researchers who are part of the IIDP project. The BioSample SAM* identifiers contain no personally identifiable information, are fully open, and run on robust infrastructures of the US National Library of Medicine and the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute. These infrastructures allow projects such as the IIDP to quickly generate all of the identifiers they need in order to work with human data in a manner that is as open and as transparent as possible while protecting the rights of patients.

The RRID project answers a need to improve on the system for referencing resources such as cell lines in the biomedical literature. For example, while citations are ubiquitous in the scientific literature, allowing each journal to create its own custom standard for citation makes it difficult to find all citations for a particular article without substantial effort, and creates havoc for computational systems. RRIDs arose as a single standard that can be consistently applied by publishers to refer to resources such as cell lines within the text of the methods section. The RRID project helps to fulfill mandates from the National Institutes of Health for Rigor and Reproducibility.

It is important to note that the RRID project, which consolidates the known identifiers for research resources is in fact not the issuer of the identifiers. The community databases that stand behind their identifiers ultimately guarantee their persistence, uniqueness and stability. The RRID project has developed some tools to both guide small community repositories and guarantee persistence if they are unable to, but this is not preferred.

Recently the leadership of the IIDP, BioSamples and the RRID project came together to add BioSamples in a limited capacity to the RRID project, which will identify the IIDP samples as RRIDs.

Why RRIDs?

Multiple journals now require and many more encourage authors to use RRIDs when publishing their methods sections. Many of these journals also typeset the RRID format, meaning that there is a link to information about the cell line inside the paper itself. Links allow the RRID providing database to add details about the cell line like as they become available and share those with readers of the paper. Because the typesetting instructions are already set with the journals there is no additional work needed to ask the journals to add links to the IIDP BioSamples.

We have also updated the FAQs on the RRID website, please see all FAQs here:


Relevant FAQs are below.

What are RRIDs?

RRIDs are stable unique identifiers for research resources, materials and tools that are used in the materials and methods section of the paper. Things like antibodies, cell lines, and transgenic organisms are covered under the RRID umbrella. The one stop shop for all of your RRID needs is the RRID portal (https://scicrunch.org/resources). RRIDs are issued by community repositories, so RRIDs can also be found on many other databases and projects which contribute their data and identifiers including BioSamples, IIDP, AntibodyRegistry, Cellosaurus, MMRRC, BDRC and many others.

Why are some BioSamples linked to RRIDs?

Projects such as the IIDP for pancreatic islets have submitted their cell lines for identification via BioSamples. Additionally, the IIDP wishes to use the RRID resolving services to ask the participants in the IIDP to use the identifiers in their journal articles. The RRID syntax makes this easier as it is enforced consistently across multiple publishers.

Why don’t all BioSamples have RRIDs?

RRIDs are working with BioSamples database in a limited fashion at this time. RRIDs therefore are not available for all BioSamples. If you wish to ask our curators about this please email us at rii-help *at* scicrunch.org

Can I generate new BioSample RRIDs?

If your BioSamples are part of a well organized project such as the IIDP, please contact us rii-help *at* scicrunch.org. As long as the uniqueness of the BioSamples is guaranteed by the project, and the data is aligned well within the BioSample database there should be a means to add your project to the RRID portal.


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