Scientific collections are the vast array of specimens, samples, and data that are contained in our nation's museums, research institutions, zoos, aquaria, and botanic gardens. They are an important part of our nation's scientific enterprise, supporting research and discovery that informs our understanding of human health, agriculture, and the environment. It is essential that the nation make a sustained commitment to preserve and protect these valuable scientific resources.

AIBS has joined with the Natural Science Collections Alliance - an AIBS member society - to promote the value of natural history collections. Their activities have included meeting with Dr. John Holdren, science advisor to President Obama and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, about the federal government's role in preservation and use of scientific collections. The organizations also pushed for a Presidential Executive Order that would establish a federal framework to promote the preservation and use of scientific collections. This effort was endorsed by a number of scientific organizations.

AIBS, together with the Natural Science Collections Alliance and Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, created the Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN). BCoN is a five-year national initiative funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation to support the development of a new, sustainable community of practice that will ensure that all U.S. biodiversity collections are digitally available for research, education, informed decision-making, and other scholarly and creative activities.

In September 2012, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, with support from the National Science Foundation, convened a workshop of experts in biocollections, digitization, computer science, and other relevant fields to develop the Implementation Plan for the Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance (NIBA). The resulting report reflects a coordinated and collaborative effort to realize the grand goals proposed by the biocollections community in the NIBA strategic plan.

Resources on Collections

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Implementation Plan For the Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance Executive Summary of the Implementation Plan

Fact sheets developed by AIBS about the value of scientific collections.

Funding Research Education Biodiversity

Recent AIBS Position Statements on Scientific Collections

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