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ISBER Best Practices For Repositories

Collection, Storage, Retrieval, and Distribution of Biological Materials for Research

Published in Biopreservation and Biobanking (BIO), April 2012 issue.  Best Practices Citation: 
2012 Best practices for repositories: Collection, storage, retrieval, and distribution of biological materials for research.  Biopreservation and Biobanking 2012, 10:79-161

The availability of high quality biological and environmental specimens for research purposes requires the development of standardized methods for collection, long-term storage, retrieval and distribution of specimens that will enable their future use. Sharing successful strategies for accomplishing this goal is one of the driving forces for the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER).

ISBER's Best Practices for Repositories (Best Practices) reflects the collective experience of its members and has received broad input from other repository professionals. Throughout this document effective practices are presented for the management of specimen collections and repositories. The term "Best Practice" is used in cases where a level of operation is indicated that is above the basic recommended practice or, more specifically, designates the most effective practice. It is understood that repositories in certain locations or with particular financial constraints may not be able to adhere to each of the items designated as "Best Practices". Repositories fitting into either of these categories will need to decide how they might best adhere to these recommendations within their particular circumstances. While adherence to ISBER Best Practices is strictly on a voluntary basis, it is important to note that some aspects of specimen management are governed by national/federal, regional and local regulations. The reader should refer directly to regulations for their national/federal, regional and local requirements, as appropriate.

The ISBER Best Practices are periodically reviewed and revised to reflect advances in research and technology. The third edition of the Best Practices builds on the foundation established in the first and second editions which were published in 2005 and 2008, respectively.

ISBER Best Practice Third Edition (PDF)

Please note, the Chinese and Korean translations below of the ISBER Best Practices are unofficial translations and are provided for reference only. ISBER does not guarantee the accuracy of the translations, and expressly disclaims any and all liability for errors and omissions in the contents of these documents.

ISBER Best Practice Chinese Translation (PDF)

ISBER Best Practices Japanese Translation (PDF)

ISBER Best Practice Korean Translation (PDF)

Check out the Self-Assessent Tool (SAT) to see how well your repository follows the ISBER Best Practices Guidelines! The assessment is confidential and is aimed at helping specimen collection centers strengthen their practices through the identification of areas in need of improvement.


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