v5.0 Release Notes


Apart from two new features, the main focus of this release is to make OpenSpecimen more configurable. Many new options are added to improve the data entry workflows as per local needs.


New features


A biobank needs many types of supplies. E.g. collection containers, slides, tubes, boxes, etc.  In v5.0, OpenSpecimen allows inventory management of these supplies. 

This modules allows users to manage and track supplies per collection protocol or site. The features include:

  • Managing "Supply Vendors"
  • Managing "Supply Type"
  • Managing barcoded or non barcoded "Supply" 
  • Track depletion of supplies as visits are completed or specimens are collected.

Future enhancements:

  • Notify users when supplies are running low or about to expire.

More details: Supplies Management

Reserving Specimens

When specimens are collected, they are often reserved for specific researcher. Users want to make sure that these specimens are not given away to other researchers. In v5.0, OpenSpecimen allows users to reserve samples for this purpose. Some of the features include:

  1. Mark one or more specimens as reserved for distribution to a specific distribution protocol (DP).
  2. When the specimens are marked as reserved, they can't be distributed to other DPs.
  3. View list of all specimens reserved to a DP.
  4. Distribute all DP reserved specimens in one go.
  5. Cancel the reservation at anytime as required

More details: Reserve Specimens

Order enhancements

Users can include additional information during distribution of specimens by creating custom fields for order and distribution protocol(DP). 

New enhancements in Order:

Labels & barcode enhancements

Usability Enhancements

Multiple unplanned specimen page enhancements

For protocols where specimens to be collected is not planned, v5.0 provides user friendly way to create multiple unplanned specimens. This feature allows you to create multiple copies of similar primary specimens along with its aliquots.


Refer to 'Unplanned Specimens' for more details. 

Specimens Overview for a participant 

For biobanks which do not collect specimens under longitudinal studies, visits information might not be vital. For such biobanks, it is useful to view summary of all specimens of a participant irrespective of visits. From v5.0, OpenSpecimen displays all the specimens of a participant across all visits under ‘Specimens’ tab of participants overview page. This helps to get a summary of specimens under one view. Dashlets(counts and graphs) can be configured to be displayed on this page. Users can also see the hierarchical tree of all specimens along with the children on the left side.

Details: Specimens overview tab and tree for a participant

Plugin Enhancements

SDE Enhancements

There are few enhancements in SDE:

Advanced configurations via API

At each protocol level, admins can configure screens based on local needs with many additional enhancements in v5.0 as listed below:

Visits Lookup

OpenSpecimen allows user to search the visits across participants of a collection protocol within OpenSpecimen or from an external source(Example, staging database created with data from external source like CoPath).

More details: Visits Lookup