A Decentralized IT Architecture for Locating and Negotiating Access to Biobank Samples

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2017;243:75-79.


There is a need among researchers for the easy discoverability of biobank samples. Currently, there is no uniform way for finding samples and negotiate access. Instead, researchers have to communicate with each biobank separately. We present the architecture for the BBMRI-CS IT platform, whose goal is to facilitate sample location and access. We chose a decentral approach, which allows for strong data protection and provides the high flexibility needed in the highly heterogeneous landscape of European biobanks. This is the first implementation of a decentral search in the biobank field. With the addition of a Negotiator component, it also allows for easy communication and a follow-through of the lengthy approval process for accessing samples.

Keywords: Biological specimen banks; Decentral search; European research infrastructure; Information storage and retrieval.

MeSH terms

  • Access to Information
  • Biological Specimen Banks*
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Negotiating*