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The reuse of avian samples: Opportunities, pitfalls and a solution

March 28, 2022

Tissue samples are frequently collected to study various aspects of avian biology, but in many cases these samples are not used in their entirety and are stored by the collector. The already collected samples provide a largely overlooked opportunity because they can be used by different researchers in different biological fields. Broad reuse of samples could result in multispecies or large-scale studies, interdisciplinary collaborations, and the generation of new ideas, thereby increasing the quality and impact of research. Sample reuse could also reduce the number of new samples needed for a study, which is especially pertinent to endangered species where sample collection is necessarily limited. Importantly, reusing samples may be mutually beneficial for both the researchers providing samples and those reusing them. Here, we identify the benefits of sample reuse, describe currently available sources of already collected samples and their limitations, and highlight the wide range of potential applications in a single research field – avian isotopic ecology. To facilitate the reuse of avian samples worldwide and across research fields, we introduce the AviSample Network metadata repository. The main aims of this metadata repository are to collate and provide access to descriptions of available avian tissue samples. We contend that the creation of the AviSample Network metadata repository will provide the opportunity for new collaborations and studies. Moreover, we believe that this will help create research connections between ornithologists across the globe and encourage sample reuse in other fields.

Publication Year 2022
Title The reuse of avian samples: Opportunities, pitfalls and a solution
DOI 10.1111/ibi.12997
Authors Vojtěch Brlík, Pavel Pipek, Kate Brandis, Nikita Chernetsov, Fábio J. V. Costa, L. Gerardo Herrera M., Yosef Kiat, Richard B. Lanctot, Peter P. Marra, D. Ryan Norris, Chima J. Nwaogu, Petra Quillfeldt, Sarah T. Saalfeld, Craig A. Stricker, Robert L. Thomson, Tianhao Zhao, Petr Procházka
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Ibis
Index ID 70230042
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Fort Collins Science Center