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What is a Lab Order?

A lab order is the mechanism for providing labs with information about samples sent to them for analysis. A lab order specifies:

  • The analysis procedure the lab will use
  • The container(s) that are sent to the lab to provide the material needed for the analysis.

The Lab Order Download Files

Lab representatives are notified via email when a biologist Places a lab order. A Lab Representative then logs onto BioData, selects the lab orders of interest, and retrieves them. Typically, a lab will want to retrieve more than one lab order at a time.

The selected lab orders are packaged together in a zip file that contains three tab-delimited files.

Files delivered in downloaded zip file

The "yyymmdd_tttt" component of the file name is set to reflect the date and time when the lab orders were retrieved.

  • A list of the lab orders: file name: "USGS_BioData_Lab_Orders_yyyymmdd_tttt"
  • A list of containers for the lab orders: file name: "USGS_BioData_Containers_yyyymmdd_tttt"
  • A list of the sites where the samples were collected: file name: "USGS_BioData_Site_yyyymmdd_tttt"

The files can be related (linked) as follows:

  • The Lab Order file is related to the Containers file using LabOrderID (both files have LabOrderID in them).
  • The Lab Order file is related to the Site file using SiteNumber
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