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New Charges for the Use of OpenSpecimen Effective July 1

April 21, 2021


Members of the research community


OpenSpecimen is a bio-bank management tool used to collect, manage, process, annotate and distribute bio-specimens and associated data to selected users. It offers an enterprise-wide comprehensive set of features including: biospecimen collection, inventory tracking and customizable support for storage containers (i.e., freezers, shelves, racks, boxes, positions).  OpenSpecimen for bio-bank management is considered a “Tier A” best practice for storing biospecimen metadata, including Protected Health Information (PHI), by the Johns Hopkins Data Trust Research Sub-Council.  OpenSpecimen allows research teams to associate biospecimens with clinical data in databases such as Epic. Utilization of other databases that are not designed for bio-bank management (Excel and Access) is discouraged.

OpenSpecimen currently manages 391,270 specimens for 38,813 participants in 67 collection protocols. Of those, 110,969 specimens have been associated with the PMAP Precision Medicine platform. Each year utilization of OpenSpecimen continues to grow and we have received positive feedback from our customers. I encourage you to consider using OpenSpecimen for your bio-banking needs; if you are submitting a grant please use the text describing OpenSpecimen found here:

The ICTR has been able to provide OpenSpecimen as a free service since 2011. For the ICTR to continue to expand the use of OpenSpecimen and add new features, effective July 1, 2021 we are implementing a minimal fee structure. These fees will be used to support the OpenSpecimen software and staff. Based on guidance from the OpenSpecimen Steering Committee, we will not be implementing a fee for basic OpenSpecimen utilization (Bronze level). The OpenSpecimen Fee Structure can be found at

Please reach out to Bob Lange at with any questions.


Thank you,

Daniel E. Ford, MD, MPH
David M. Levine Professor of Medicine
Vice Dean for Clinical Investigation
Director, Institute for Clinical and Translational Research