ResearchSpace Inventory manager (RSINV) Glossary

ResearchSpace Inventory Manager (RSINV) Glossary

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Basket - A persistant, reusable collection of items that can be used as convenient way to gather materials together, perform certain batch actions on the whole set, and prepare Lists of Materials (LOM) for use in RSpace documents.

Bench - Refers to the physical or conceptual work area where individual users perform their work. Each RSpace user is assigned there own Bench, which can be thought of as a special type of top-level container into which items can be placed. New items (i.e., containers or samples) are typically created on the creating user's Bench by default. From there, newly created items may be moved to other locations as appropriate. Items that are in use can be moved to a specific user's bench to indicate that the item is not currently in its usual location and is in use by the Bench owner.

Container - A physical or conceptual entity used to show where resources are located or how they are organized. There are three types of Container - List, Grid and Visual. Containers can hold subsamples nested hierarchies of other containers or both.

  • List container - Good for containers that contain many items and users are not concerned with the relative location of items withing the container.
  • Grid container - Good for containers that include a square grid of locations where samples can be placed with the relative location of each item specified by the user and displayed by the system
  • Visual container - Think of visual containers as being like a map. They can be used to manually specify the exact location of items using "hotspots" superimposed on a user specified image. Image containers are flexible and can be used to show things like the location of a room on a floor plan of a building, the location of a sensor on a map of a field site, or a specific jar on photograph of a shelving rack.

Details Panel - Also called the right-hand panel, details area or details card. Used to show information about a selected item. Located on the right when viewed on a workstation display. Displays the details of the current item or item selected in the Navigation panel. Their are 4 types of details panel, each panel type has a color coded header for faster recognition:

  • Container details panel
  • Sample details panel
  • Subsample details panel
  • Sample template details panel

All four types of details panels are customizable, but the Sample details panel is special because it can record more specialized metadata types, with field characteristics defined by a Sample Template for improved consistency.

Duplicate - Duplicates and item and adds the word "Copy" to the name. A duplicated sample or subsample has the same volume as the parent. Compare with Split which is used only for subsamples.

Import - In RSINV there is a special import mechanism that uses properly formated .CSV files to ingest lists of containers, samples and subsamples and reproduce their hierarchical organization such that large cohorts of complex, legacy inventory data do not need to be manually entered.

Import event - A single import event involves the ingestion of one or more .CSV files. Crucially, the import allows for up to three .CSV files to be ingested at once, with the three .CSV files holding data about repectively Containers, Samples and Subsamples, as well as defining the relationships between those entities within the .CSV files themselves. The .CSV used to import Samples during an import event can also be used to create a new Sample Template, defining the structure of the template, which can then be used subsequently to create similar additonal samples in the standard RSINV interface.

Lucene - A search technology developed by the Apache foundation. Lucene queries can be used to search for specific items in RSINV by logically combining search terms including things like item names and tags. Learn more about Lucene searches here.

Navigational Panel - Also sometimes called the center panel is used to browse through or search for the containers and samples you have access to. This panel allows you to choose between three diffent types of views:

  • List View - Equivalent to the list view in the ELN. Allows users to click or tab on a select box and then perform actions on the selected items.
  • Tree View - Equivalent to the tree view in the ELN. Allows users to browse and explore hierarchically within their containers and samples and provides good organizational awareness of where items are located in a lab relative to each other.
  • Card View - features large image previews to make it easier for users to instantly recognize items and containers based on their real-world appearance.

Sample - In RSINV a sample is a conceptual entity refers to the description of a subsample or set of subsamples with a common set of characteristics displayed in the sample details panel. The RSINV subsample is the physical manifiestation of the sample description. In many cases a sample may be made up of the sample plus a single subsample such that the sample details panel can be thought of as merely the information associated with the sample, and the single subsample is the representation of the lone physical sample itself. Samples do not have a location, but the subsamples that comprise a sample do. Samples can also be used a way to bundle together any number of subsamples and move them en-masse to a new location, but if the container type is Grid or Visual, then the location of each individual subsample will need to be indicated in the destination container.

Sample Template - Often shortened to just "Template". These can be built using Create > Template, or they can be generated based on structured data imported to RSINV in .CSV format using the Import feature. Sample templates can be used to enforce conventions about metadata collected and associated with samples, and can also be used to give consistant structure to sample data imported from legacy external sources.

Sidebar - Also sometimes called left-hand control panel is used to select specific categories of items and perfom important actions such as creating new items.

Split - used to split subsamples into any number of new subsamples with each new subsample having a fraaction of the volume of the original subsample. Compare to Duplicate.

Subsample - One or more similar subsamples comprise a sample. Subsamples can be given a custom Subsample Alias that defines the language used to refer to subsamples. Examples include: Aliquot, Component, Individual, Piece, Portion, Section, Unit or indeed anything the user thinks is appropriate for the item being described. The use of subsample aliases make the RSINV extremely flexible and allow it to be used for tracking almost any physical or conceptual entity. Metadata for a set of subsamples is primarily displayed in the parent sample details panel, but each individual subsample can also have its own additional details recorded in the subsample details panel.

Tags - similar to key words. Metadata that can help to categorize, label and locate items and documents in RSpace. RSpace features a sophisticated tagging system that can be used to label things consistently accross projects, labs and even accross the whole research sector within which you work. Learn more about tags here.

Top-Level Container - A Top-Level container is one that cannot be placed inside any other container and which represents a major, typically immobile storage area. Examples might include freezers, rooms, buildings, or entire storage facilities. To designate a new container as "Top-Level" , create a new container > locate the new container on your bench > select the container and click "Move" > click "Make Top-Level" in the popup "Move" dialog. At any time, users can click the "Containers" main filter button in the left hand sidebar to see a list of all toplevel containers to which you have access.

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