What Do Biomedical Researchers Want from Biobanks?

The purpose of biobanking is to provide biospecimens and associated data to researchers, yet the perspectives of biobank research users have been under-investigated. A study was conducted to ascertain the needs of biobank research users and their opinions about biobanking services.

In this study an online survey was developed, requesting information about researcher such as – demographics, localities of biobanks accessed, methods of sourcing biospecimens, and opinions on topics including but not limited to, application processes, data availability, access fees, and return of research results. A web link for the survey was distributed to researchers in late 2019/early 2020 in four Australian states: New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, and South Australia.

Biobanks that do not meet the needs of their end-users are unlikely to be optimally utilized or sustainable. This survey provides valuable insights to guide biobanks and other stakeholders, such as developing marketing and client engagement plans to encourage local research users and discouraging the creation of unnecessary new collections.

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