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The ARDC IGSN minting service enables users to mint and assign IGSN identifiers to physical samples associated with research. ARDC is one of four IGSN allocating agents in Australia.  Others are Geoscience Australia, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Curtin University. The software underpinning the service is a customised version of the IGSN software developed by CSIRO.

What is IGSN?

An IGSN (International GeoSample Number)  is a resolvable persistent unique identifier for physical samples and specimens. The IGSN system is an international initiative underpinned by the Handle System. IGSN registration facilitates the discovery, access, and sharing of samples, supports preservation and access of sample data, aids identification of samples in the literature, and advances the exchange of digital sample data among interoperable data systems, thereby maximizing the utility of samples for research, education, and society.  For a more detailed overview of IGSN please refer to the IGSN website.

Service Scope

The ARDC IGSN service: 

  • can be accessed via the AuScope Portal

  • may be utilised by sample curators affiliated with Australian research organisations that are not IGSN allocating agents.

  • The ARDC IGSN minting service authenticates via the Australian Access Federation (AAF). Individuals can access the service through their institution’s affiliation with AAF. The ARDC IGSN minting service is available at no cost to selected service providers.

  • provides both a Graphical User Interface (GUI) and an API for minting and managing IGSNs.

Resource types in scope

The ARDC IGSN service has been developed for use by the Australian earth science research community. The service may be used to assign IGSN identifiers to geophysical samples associated with an Australian research activity such as rock, soil and sediment.

While the service is currently limited to earth science samples, ARDC is interested in working with other communities in order to extend the service for use with other physical sample types e.g. water, vegetation, archaeological and biological specimens. If you are interested in participating in this process please email

Important note: All users of the ARDC IGSN minting service should understand that ARDC does not manage the IGSNs nor the samples they identify; it only provides the infrastructure to allow minting, resolution and updating of IGSNs.

The following criteria applies to the ARDC IGSN minting service:

  • The sample being identified should be associated with an Australian research activity

  • IGSN identifiers should resolve to a metadata record describing the sample

  • The sample being identified, and associated metadata, should be curated through the research lifecycle

  • The mandatory metadata elements required for IGSN registration must be provided. Users should note that providing additional descriptive metadata will increase the potential for discovery, reuse and citation of the registered sample.