DiSSCo Labs

A preview of experimental e-services and demonstrators created by the DiSSCo community

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Digital Specimen Repository
A demonstrator developed in the ICEDIG project to test the Digital Specimen concept. This will be further developed into a pilot to support development of the Open Digital Specimen specification.

Collections Digitisation Dashboard
This prototype was developed in the SYNTHESYS+ project and released in 2020 with standardised collection information from a limited number of institutions.

Policy Dashboard
Result of a survey and analysis carried out on six ICEDIG partners.
The survey data was integrated into a series of visualisations to demonstrate coverage of policies across institutions, policy completion status, and levels of confidentiality.

Research Infrastructure Dashboard
A milestone from ICEDIG.
The data visualised in this dashboard is representative sample of 35 Research Infrastructures and platforms that bear some relation to DiSSCo.


Coming Soon! Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure (AAI)
This will be implemented as a pilot in the SYNTHESYS+ project to provide authentication (identification of a user) and authorisation (level of access for a user) that will be used by various DiSSCo e-services.

DiSSCo Collections Dashboard
The Collections Dashboard contains data pertaining to the natural science collections of participating institutions across Europe. Page one shows the approximate size of collections per discipline for 89 institutes who participated in an initial DiSSCo survey, and page two displays the national contributions to the European collection.

Standards: Technical specifications to support the technical infrastructure

MIDS (Minimum Information about a Digital Specimen): Inspired by the idea of ‘minimum information standards’ adopted in other areas of biology we name this proposed TDWG standard as ‘Minimum Information about a Digital Specimen’ (MIDS) – the topic of the present task group. This harmonizing framework includes making the data publicly available because pen access policies in countries around the world require that digital data should be findable and accessible, even at the lowest level of available digitized information.

CD (Collection Descriptions): CD plans to support first, the development of a standard for sharing metadata about collection objects in scientific collections while planning to develop the standard so that it can be expanded to other types of collections (e.g. sea water collections) later.

openDS (open Digital Specimen): openDS is a specification of Digital Specimen and other related object type definitions essential to mass digitization of natural science collections and their digital use in a new generation of infrastructure and applications. For the principal digital object types corresponding to major categories of collections and specimens’ data, openDS defines the structure and content of each object type, and the operations that can act upon them.


The Distributed System of Scientific Collections is a new world-class Research Infrastructure (RI) for natural science collections.

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