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.

Algal Lab Orders

Invertebrate Lab Orders

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