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.
Summarized information on the genomes included in this assessment are available at: https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6wwpzgmz4.
- Brant C Faircloth
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Helga Groll, eLife, United Kingdom
© 2021, Buckner et al.
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