Scientific drilling projects generate a huge amount of sample material.
Most prominent are drill cores, where also a number of hierarchical relationships have to be taken care of: the origin of all material of drilling projects are the drill holes, the core runs (a drill core reaching the earth surface), core sections (core runs sub-divided into segments of manageable length), and samples for further analyses.
Our case study is the COSC-1 expedition2 (Collisional Orogeny in the Scandinavian Caledonides) supported by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program3 (ICDP).
The COSC-1 project studies mountain building processes by drilling a continuous cored section through the thrust sheets of the Caledonian foreland in Sweden (Lorenz et al. The Caledonides are an approximately 400 my old mountain belt that originally had Himalayan dimensions.
Research in scientific drilling projects is complex and not limited to the primary goal, which often results in intricate and comprehensive science and sampling programmes.
The IGSN is an important new player in the general publication landscape that can be cited in scholarly literature and also cross-referenced in DOI-bearing scholarly and data publications. The latter especially pertains to scientific drilling projects where samples and subsamples of the same core or core section are analysed in different laboratories and over long periods of time.
IGSN is governed by an international non-profit organisation (IGSN e. Similar to the digital object identifier (DOI), IGSNs resolve to a persistent link on the internet to IGSN landing pages with a virtual sample description, managed by federated IGSN Allocating Agents (e.g. The largest collection of registered IGSNs is accessible via the inventor’s web portal ‘System for Earth Sample Registration’, SESAR, at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (). may become IGSN Allocating Agent and develop an IGSN registration service for their communities.
The broad range of different research topics of each ICDP project call for a DIS, which is tailored for each scientific drilling expedition (such as COSC-1) for the inventory of recovered sample material and core samples extracted for research from the drill cores.