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OpenSpecimen is a system for biobanking/specimen management system

Medical Sciences Division run an OpenSpecimen service for use across the division and it is the preferred solution for managing and tracking human tissue research specimens. The service supports specimens used either under the University’s Human Tissue Licence, or in REC approved clinical studies and trials.

The Openspecimen software that underpins the service is developed by Krishagni Solutions Pvt Ltd and used by over 80 institutions in more than 20 countries.

Advantages of OpenSpecimen

  • Fully auditable specimen lifecycle, including bulk operations
  • Sample traceability
  • Sample storage management with flexible storage hierarchy
  • Bulk processing or transfer support
  • Customisable data entry forms and workflows
  • Wide range of sample collection scenarios, pre-defined or ad hoc
  • Powerful reporting tools that can be used by non-technical users
  • Granular data access controls to meet information governance requirements
  • Divisionally managed and fully supported web-based service.

OpenSpecimen and REDcap

There is overlap between the functionality provided by OpenSpecimen and REDCap, but these are complementary products, each with a different focus:

  • REDCap - building and managing online surveys and databases to support data capture for research studies.
  • OpenSpecimen - biomedical sample management with full and audited specimen lifecycle management, including traceability, storage management and bulk specimen processing and/or transfers.


OpenSpecimen is offered to groups in Medical Sciences Division for the tracking of samples covered by:

  • The University’s Human Tissue Licence
  • REC approval
  • Please note: The team is currently only onboarding HTA samples, REC samples will follow in a later tranche.

It can be used to support other samples but groups will need to self-onboard as the service is currently only funded to onboard samples that fall within one of these criteria.

Onboarding follows the OpenSpecimen onboarding process and is a shared responsibility between the sample owners and the OpenSpecimen team.

During onboarding the OpenSpecimen team will:

  • Discuss the platform and how it can be configured to suit the needs of the group
  • Provide templates to load data into the system
  • Implement the storage hierarchy, workflows and data entry forms
  • Configure the system with user identities and data access rights
  • Provide guidance and support for the onboarding process

The sample owners will need to:

  • Allocate staff member(s) to both act as administrator / co-ordinator
  • Extract data from existing systems and transform the data to fit into the OpenSpecimen import template
  • Ensure data quality – for example, ensuring unique identifiers, ensuring all dates are supplied
  • Procure label printing and scanning equipment and consumables
  • Allocate staff time for testing and feedback

In some cases onboarding is more complex, such as groups that have difficult to access legacy data, extensive workflows or data entry forms. Also, some groups may require additional OpenSpecimen integration. In these cases the onboarding will require additional resource in the sample owner team to ensure success.

Contact Us

To discuss if your samples can be managed by OpenSpecimen and to start onboarding please contact us by email to: