Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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Plant Specimen Contextual Data Consensus
Ramona L. Walls, Petra ten Hoopen, Ethalinda K.S. Cannon

Building: Computer Science
Room: Computer Science 3
Date: 2016-12-06 10:00 AM – 10:05 AM
Last modified: 2016-11-04


Plant specimen contextual data provides information about the plant material that is being analysed in a molecular assay. This information layer is distinct from the investigation layer, which specifies the investigation purpose and its contributors, and from the experiment layer, which provides details of the experimental design. This suggests that a common set of descriptors can be used for reporting the contextual information about a plant sample that is associated with any dataset. The Compliance and Interoperability Working Group of the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) facilitates expert-community building and development of recommendations for description of genomic data and associated information. This short presentation will describe a recent effort by the working group to harmonize reporting of contextual data of plant specimens associated with genomic data. The consensus uses a number of concepts from the GSC’s Mininum information for any (x) Sequence (MIxS) standard and is available at http://gensc.org/the-plant-specimen-contextual-data-consensus/ . The consensus represents a shift in MIxS away from the original core+environmental package model of specifying standards toward more purpose-driven collections of metadata terms sometime referred to as application profiles. The use of categories for terms within the consensus (organism, sample, treatment, growth medium) can aid in metadata collection. Although this consensus was developed with plant molecular assays in mind, the contextual metadata list can serve well for other types of assays such as phenotyping observations.