1. Genetics and Genomics
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Science Forum: The critical importance of vouchers in genomics

  1. Janet C Buckner  Is a corresponding author
  2. Robert C Sanders
  3. Brant C Faircloth
  4. Prosanta Chakrabarty  Is a corresponding author
  1. Louisiana State University, United States
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Cite this article as: eLife 2021;10:e68264 doi: 10.7554/eLife.68264

Abstract

A voucher is a permanently preserved specimen that is maintained in an accessible collection. In genomics, vouchers serve as the physical evidence for the taxonomic identification of genome assemblies. Unfortunately, the vast majority of vertebrate genomes stored in the Genbank database do not refer to voucher specimens. Here, we urge researchers generating new genome assemblies to deposit voucher specimens in accessible, permanent research collections, and to link these vouchers to publications, public databases, and repositories. We also encourage scientists to deposit voucher specimens in order to recognize the work of local field biologists and promote a diverse and inclusive knowledge base, and we recommend best practices to in voucher deposition to prevent taxonomic errors and ensure reproducibility and legality in genetic studies.

Data availability

Summarized information on the genomes included in this assessment are available at: https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6wwpzgmz4.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Janet C Buckner

    Museum of Natural Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, United States
    For correspondence
    jbuckner1@lsu.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-7509-8370
  2. Robert C Sanders

    Museum of Natural Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Brant C Faircloth

    Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-1943-0217
  4. Prosanta Chakrabarty

    Museum of Natural Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, United States
    For correspondence
    prosanta@lsu.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-0565-0312

Funding

National Science Foundation (IOB-1754417)

  • Brant C Faircloth

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Helga Groll, eLife, United Kingdom

Publication history

  1. Received: March 10, 2021
  2. Accepted: May 26, 2021
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: June 1, 2021 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: June 8, 2021 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2021, Buckner et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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