Author(s): Thomas H. Murray, Ph.D.
- Unidentified Specimens:
- For these specimens, identifiable personal information was not collected or, if collected, was not maintained and cannot be retrieved by the repository.
- Identified Specimens:
- These specimens are linked to personal information in such a way that the person from whom the material was obtained could be identified by name, patient number, or clear pedigree location (i.e., his or her relationship to a family member whose identity is known).
- Unidentified Samples:
- Sometimes termed "anonymous," these samples are supplied by repositories to investigators from a collection of unidentified human biological specimens.
- Unlinked Samples:
- Sometimes termed "anonymized," these samples lack identifiers or codes that can link a particular sample to an identified specimen or a particular human being.
- Coded Samples:
- Sometimes termed "linked" or "identifiable," these samples are supplied by repositories to investigators from identified specimens with a code rather than with personally identifying information such as a name or Social Security number.
- Identified Samples:
- These samples are supplied by repositories from identified specimens with a personal identifier (such as a name of patient number) that would allow the researcher to link the biological information derived from the research directly to the individual from whom the material was obtained.