Scientific Collections International (already referred to as “SciColl”) is the name for a new international mechanism proposed by an activity under the OECD Global Science Forum on policy issues related to scientific collections. This activity was started with the GSF through an initiative by the Netherlands in 2006, and has seen two larger meetings / workshops (11-13 June 2007, Leiden; 17-18 July 2008, Washington, D.C.), which developed the proposal to establish such an international coordinating mechanism for scientific collection-based institutions, in their specific roles and as part of a unique global research infrastructure.

Following the endorsement of the first workshop report by the 17th GSF meeting in October 2007, an international Steering Committee has been established, which last met in London in March this year and will meet again in Berlin on 2-4 September 2009 at the Museum für Naturkunde. The Steering Group is constituted following nominations of individual experts from individual OECD countries (+ invited observers) through their respective GSF delegates, and it is currently chaired by Richard Lane, Director of Science at the Natural History Museum, London.

The timeline is to produce a concrete proposal how to establish and operate such a new international coordination mechanism by early 2010, and the Steering Committee has constituted four working groups for different tasks.

This web-space ("scratchpad") contains working documents for establishing SciColl (some of which only the Steering Committee have access to) together with relevant background documentation of interest (e.g. meetings reports, presentations etc), as well as information about the coming meeting in Berlin.

The Scratchpad Administrator is Frances Allen at the Natural History Museum (F.Allen@nhm.ac.uk).

Scratchpads developed and conceived by: Vince Smith, Simon Rycroft, Dave Roberts, Ben Scott...