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Introduction

MetaBiobank is a catalogue of information describing biological sample collections stored in various biobanks. MetaBiobank is for you if:

  • you are looking for specific biological samples to perform research on;
  • you wish to share the contents of your biological sample repository with other scientists.

Our service provides sample collection metadata which can help you decide whether certain samples are of interest to you. Our aim is to provide a simple way to search for interesting biological samples (for researchers) while also providing an additional channel to spread information about biobank resources (for biorepository administrators).

Catalogue search and browsing

In order to search our biorepository catalogue, please navigate to the MetaBiobank front page, at:
and type in the phrase you are looking for. You can search by disease, organs/anatomical part, sample material type or any other collection metadata element.
Clicking any of the resulting sample collections will redirect you to a sample collection view, such as the one below:
Here, you can obtain the details regarding the sample collection itself, as well as the specifics of samples available in the biobank (note, however, that some collections may come without a detailed list of samples). Clicking the "Biobank name" link will display more information about where the collection is located and how you can contact the responsible person. In this way you can initiate direct collaboration with the biobank's curators in order to obtain access to interesting samples.
An alternative way to browse collections is to directly view the catalogue by clicking an appropriate link on the front page:
This will take you to the summary table listing all published sample collections:
Each row represents a single biological sample collection. Here, you are able to filter results by selected keywords and sort by any of the columns. Clicking the biobank name will take you to the biobank fact sheet while clicking the collection name will display a detailed collection metadata view.

Submitting information about a biobank

In order to publish information about your biobank and the samples it comprises, you need to obtain a user account. The MetaBiobank service is published in the PL-Grid Infrastructure and requires its users to have an active PL-Grid account. In order to obtain one, please use the PL-Grid Portal registration procedure (more information about this procedure is provided in the PL-Grid User Manual).
After successfully registering with PL-Grid, please go back to the MetaBiobank site and click the "LOGIN WITH PL-GRID" button in the top right-hand corner. This will display a login popup:
Please click the "SIGN IN" link - you will be redirected to PL-Grid OpenId identity provider server, where you should enter your PL-Grid login (it usually starts with the "plg" prefix) and password, in exactly the same way you log into the PL-Grid Portal. If you are logging into MetaBiobank for the first time, you may be presented with a request to activate access to MetaBiobank. Don't worry - this activation is automatic and you only have to approve it in order to proceed. Your consent will be remembered and you will not be forced to go through the same procedure during subsequent logins.
After signing in to MetaBiobank please use the second action button on the front page in order to add an entry about your organization (the one that manages your biobank or biorepository).
Please provide as much information as you can. Remember: the more details you give, the greater the chances that some external scientist will find what s/he needs in your biobank. Make sure to include contact details - the contact person may not necessarily be yourself, but it should be someone who can be contacted by persons wishing to obtain biosamples from your repository.
Note that your full organizational profile will not be visible to MetaBiobank users unless you check the "Public" flag - use this feature to hide incomplete (or outdated) information from other users. After submitting the form you will be able to review it in your dashboard:
The dashboard is also accessible, after signing in, by clicking your name in the top right-hand corner of the screen. This section of the service enables you to adjust biobank data, remove entries completely from the system and manage biobank sample collections.
You can add new sample collections in pretty much the same way as adding biobank details. It is important to provide (among others) lists of applicable diseases, donor sex and study type information, as these might be crucial for the researchers looking for interesting samples. Take note of helpful hints provided by most of the form fields. Again, only a sample collection that has its 'Public' flag set to true will be publicly visible.
You are able to remove any information from inside MetaBiobank at any time, either by flagging selected data items as nonpublic, or by completely deleting any information you previously provided.

How to contact authors

In case of further questions or if you are interested in cooperation with our team, please contact us by e-mail. If you wish to file a bug report or describe a feature request, please use the PL-Grid Helpdesk system. The MetaBiobank service is developed, delivered and maintained by ACC Cyfronet AGH and LifeScience Kraków Cluster.
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