Third Edition [Formula: see text] [Box: see text] Printed with permission from the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) © 2011 ISBER All Rights Reserved Editor-in-Chief Lori D. Campbell, PhD Associate Editors Fay Betsou, PhD Debra Leiolani Garcia, MPA Judith G. Giri, PhD Karen E. Pitt, PhD Rebecca S. Pugh, MS Katherine C. Sexton, MBA Amy P.N. Skubitz, PhD Stella B. Somiari, PhD Individual Contributors to the Third Edition Jonas Astrin, Susan Baker, Thomas J. Barr, Erica Benson, Mark Cada, Lori Campbell, Antonio Hugo Jose Froes Marques Campos, David Carpentieri, Omoshile Clement, Domenico Coppola, Yvonne De Souza, Paul Fearn, Kelly Feil, Debra Garcia, Judith Giri, William E. Grizzle, Kathleen Groover, Keith Harding, Edward Kaercher, Joseph Kessler, Sarah Loud, Hannah Maynor, Kevin McCluskey, Kevin Meagher, Cheryl Michels, Lisa Miranda, Judy Muller-Cohn, Rolf Muller, James O'Sullivan, Karen Pitt, Rebecca Pugh, Rivka Ravid, Katherine Sexton, Ricardo Luis A. Silva, Frank Simione, Amy Skubitz, Stella Somiari, Frans van der Horst, Gavin Welch, Andy Zaayenga 2012 Best Practices for Repositories: Collection, Storage, Retrieval and Distribution of Biological Materials for Research INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL REPOSITORIES (ISBER) INTRODUCTION T he 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). For more information about ISBER see www.isber.org . ISBER's Best Practices for Repositories (Best Practices) reflect 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. ISBER has strived to include terminology appropriate to the various specimen types covered under these practices, but here too, the reader should take steps to ensure the appropriateness of the recommendations to their particular repository type prior to the implementation of any new approaches. Important terms within the document are italicized when first used in a section and defined in the glossary. 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.