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Common Access to Biological Resources and Information

Click here to read the guidelines.

Introduction to CABRI guidelines

Europe has a wide variety of Resource Centres acting as supply and service organisations to the Scientific Community. CABRI, the Common Access to Biological Resources and Information service, offers access to some of these centres. This common interest gateway offers many advantages to both the centres and their user communities. Instead of having to scrutinise a large number of databases, catalogues and other sources of information, CABRI offers world-wide access to these databases and allows one to simultaneously check on the availability of a particular type of organism or genetic resource and to order the required items once located.

Those include:

    Bacteria and Archea
    Animal and Human Cells
    DNA probes
    Plant Cells
    Plant Viruses

The CABRI service has been built around quality and each member resource centre has therefore contributed to defining the set of technical specifications and procedures which define how they should handle each resource type. These procedures are primarily based upon the centres own procedures but they have been peer reviewed and approved before the catalogue has been mounted online. In this way users of CABRI are guaranteed the highest quality materials and services. It is our intention to expand on the range of materials on offer by admitting other centres with acceptable quality standards.

Quality through knowledge

Each of the collections within CABRI has a wealth of specialist expertise that backs up the storage and delivery of cultures. A range of contract services is therefore also available and information on these can be provided by the centres on request.

Quality standards assured through testing

The CABRI accreditation scheme for Culture Collections has been developed by reviewing and collating:

    Current methodologies used for accessioning material into member and other collections.
    Quality control standards already in use and appropriate for each biological resource category.
and measured and critiqued by:

    Examining common representatives from each of the collections to compare methods and results.
    Randomly checking delivery performances and other customer responses to measure customer satisfaction.

Quality Policy

It is the goal of the CABRI member collections to provide customers with a high standard of service. This includes biological resources, information and related services. All of these items must meet the specifications laid down in the quality control guidelines, or the guidelines for catalogue production which includes the instructions for the submission of a flat file for indexing to CABRI.

A CABRI Technical Committee has been established to implement and enforce these CABRI standards and this Technical Committee also regularly audits both laboratory practices and delivery standards and ensures that the CABRI information procedures as well as content are kept current and abreast of the latest developments. CABRI aims to provide the most user friendly approach to biological resourcing anywhere in the world.

Contents of the Quality Guidelines

    Part 1: General guidelines for culture collections.
    Part 2: Request and handling deposits.
    Part 3: Maintenance of the deposits.
    Part 4: Delivery to the customer.

These chapters cover procedures that as far as possible guarantee:

    the adherence of CABRI to international, European or national regulations as well as to ethical and safety standards in the field of biotechnology;
    the authenticity of biological materials;
    the purity of cultures or absence of contaminants;
    the processing of cultures including their quality control;
    the accuracy of data collected and supplied; punctuality and delivery standards.

Presentation of the quality procedures

Part 1 of the guidelines provides a common view for all CABRI resources. Thereafter, information is provided at different levels of detail starting with the basic core procedures common to all collections. Then there are specific protocols that provide basic information on (fairly) standard techniques and finally, if relevant, there is detailed information on local procedures that might be unique to a member collection. These local procedures have been independently refereed to ensure they are scientifically responsible.

Click here to read the guidelines.

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Last revised:
February 2023

© The CABRI Consortium 1999 - 2023
This work cannot be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the CABRI consortium.