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Frozen Tissue Loan Policy

The Oklahoma State University Collection of Vertebrates (OSU COV) houses frozen tissues from approximately 9,000 individuals.  Samples typically include heart, kidney, liver, spleen, and skeletal muscle.  Most samples are mammalian and are associated with vouchered specimens in OSU COV Collection of Mammals.  Because frozen tissues are eventually consumed with use, the following guidelines have been adopted to ensure preservation of OSU COV resources for current and future research and educational use.  These guidelines also apply to Destructive Loans of traditional vouchered specimens.  For more detail on requests for destructive loans see our Destructive Loan Policy.

Loan Requests

OSU COV will make limited loans of frozen tissues to qualified researchers.  Tissue loans are intended to supplement research materials collected from the field or other sources.  All requests for loans of frozen tissues must be made in writing.  Letters of request should be on institutional letterhead and addressed to the appropriate curator.  If the request is from a student researcher, the letter must be co-signed by the faculty advisor.  Requests should contain a brief summary of the research plan including justification for use of samples from OSU COV.  This letter should specifically address:


  • Objectives of the project.
  • Potential scientific value of the project.
  • Feasibility and time frame for the project.
  • Availability of materials from other sources.
  • Methods of analysis.
  • Qualifications of the researcher(s) performing laboratory work.
  • Nature of material requested, including taxon, number of samples or specific OK numbers, geographic location if relevant, and desired method of transport.

Evaluation of Requests

Requests will be reviewed by curators on a case-by-case basis in accord with the following criteria:


  • Amount of material available in OSU COV.
  • Rarity and replaceability of materials.
  • Justification for amount and number of requested samples.
  • Availability of material from other sources including field collections and efforts of researcher(s) to obtain those materials.
  • Demonstrated ability of researcher(s) to perform proposed work.
  • Explanation that the methods proposed for sampling are the least destructive means for obtaining valid results.
  • Assurance that researcher(s) have met legal requirements associated with receiving materials.

Loan Agreement

If the loan request is approved, researcher(s) must comply with the following terms and conditions for use of OSU COV materials:


  • Tissues received from OSU COV or materials extracted from those tissues cannot be transferred to a third party without prior written permission from the appropriate OSU COV Curator.
  • Any unused portion of tissues must be returned to OSU COV upon completion of the study.
  • Sequences obtained from OSU COV tissues or vouchered specimens should be entered into GenBank to ensure accessibility to other researchers.  These sequences should be referenced to the OSU COV catalog number and the assigned sequence archival number should be provided to OSU COV by the researcher(s).
  • OSU COV should be acknowledged in any presentations and publications containing data derived from OSU COV specimens. Acknowledgment should follow the format, “Oklahoma State University Collection of Vertebrates.”
  • Researcher(s) will provide to OSU COV reprints of any published work containing data derived from OSU COV specimens.
  • Researcher(s) will provide copies of all required permits to OSU COV if applicable.
  • Researcher(s) will provide funds for shipping samples, unless waived by OSU COV curators.
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