Entering Specimen Data


Entering Specimen Data

There are three ways to enter new data into BSI: Data Entry, Shipments, and Locations. Which method you use largely depends on your group's workflow and tracking needs. Data Entry provides the most straightforward method; Locations gives a visual confirmation that the location values assigned to the new specimens are accurate; Shipments tracks the process of receiving specimens from an outside facility with greater detail.

If you are unsure which method to use, contact BSI Technical Support.

Which method should I use?

  • If your lab or group already uses BSI, ask your supervisor which methods your workflows follow.
  • If your lab or group is just getting started with BSI, consider the following before choosing which method to use:
    • Entering data via Data Entry is the most basic option and can process up to 10,000 vials in a single batch.
    • The Shipments module offers the most detailed tracking and is used to track vials received via delivery. This method is the most time consuming.
    • Entering data via Locations is useful for entering small batches or instances where you already know exactly where the vial will be stored. This is the fastest method.

Entering Data via the Data Entry Manager

The Data Entry manager is the most common means of adding new specimen data to BSI. You can access the manager from the BSI client's Managers main menu option. Specimen data is added to the system in "batches". To add or update data for existing vials, create a Modify batch. To create a batch, follow the steps below:

To create an Add batch:

  1. From the Data Entry manager, press the New button.
  2. Select Add as the batch type in the dialog that opens. The New Entry Batch Specification dialog will open.
  3. On this dialog, specify any batch properties details you know about this batch of specimens, such as the study these specimens are included in, or the template which you will view them with.
    • Templates are a time-saving tool which determine the default data fields you will see when first opening your batch to add data. They can also prompt you to assign locations for specimens before the batch can be edited and default some data, such as the Study ID or the Material Type. A default template is set, but your database may have specific templates you can use. Ask your local administrator for more information about these templates.
  4. In the Data Entry editor, add vial data to the batch. This can be done manually using the Mass Change and Change Values right mouse button options, by importing vial data, or using the scan to add vials tool. When scanning, the "Scanned" field will automatically be populated with "No", unless the vials have been scanned.
  5. New BSI IDs can be generated with the Assign BSI IDs or the Generate Through feature on the Tools menu.
  6. Use the Reserving Locations wizard to assign virtual locations to the new specimens before creating them.
  7. Save the batch by selecting the Save icon or the option from the File menu. The batch can be re-opened for editing at a later time. Once saved, the batch is assigned a batch ID.
  8. Select Check Level 1 & 2 Errors to verify that no mistakes were made which would prevent the specimens from being committed to the inventory. Errors will be displayed in the lower left corner of the editor.
  9. Correct any errors and repeat steps 7 & 8. When all of the specimen data has been added to the batch and the batch is free of errors, commit the batch via the Commit Batch icon or the Tools menu option.

Example: Dr. Banner is studying the lasting effects of intense anger on the brain. He needs to store the 400 brain tissue specimens that he received today, 10 each from 40 different subjects. To do this, he creates a Data Entry Add batch then uses the Import Specimens option to enter data from an excel file for the specimens. He uses Mass Change and Change Values to enter data which is not included in the file, such as Date Received. He uses the Assign BSI IDs tool, then the Generate Subject IDs tool to create unique identifying values for each specimen and subject he has entered data for in BSI. After verifying that all his data is correct and assigning locations, Dr. Banner commits his specimens to the BSI database and they are available for processing.

Entering Data via the Incoming Shipments Manager

The main advantage of using the Shipments manager to enter new data into BSI is the ability to track and verify each specimen has been received as expected from an outside organization. To start the process:

  1. Navigate to the Shipments manager and select New. The Shipment Properties dialog will open.
  2. Enter property values for the incoming shipment. Select OK.
  3. Save the shipment. Enter specimen data via one of the following methods:
Manual Data Entry:
  1. Select Import Specimens from the File menu.
  2. Use the instructions provided on the Import wizard to upload your data file.
    • If you are creating new specimens in the database, do not select any matching criteria.
  • Type data directly into the fields, or use the Mass Change and Change Values features to edit data.
  • You can also copy/paste data between table cells.

  1. After all data has been entered, you are ready to receive the shipment. At any point after saving, the shipment can be saved again, closed, and reopened later to continue adding specimens or to receive the shipment.
  2. From the shipment editor’s File menu, select Received Properties. Alternately highlight the shipment on the Shipments manager and select Receive.
  3. Enter the shipment's Received Properties and select OK.
  4. Now that the shipment as a whole has been received, the individual specimens inside of the shipment must be received and  discrepancies can be added if found. Receive specimen by:
Scan to Receive Specimens:
Manually Receive Specimens:
  1. Select Scan Specimens from the Tools menu on the Shipment editor.
  2. Follow instructions for the Scan dialog to set matching and location data.
  3. Scan the specimens. As a specimen is scanned, it will be marked as Received in the Shipment editor.
While highlighting the specimen(s) you wish to receive, select Mark Specimens as Received from the RMB column header menu.


  1. During the receiving process, if you notice any discrepancies between the virtual specimen records and the physical specimens you are receiving, you can add a discrepancy in BSI.
  2. Once all specimens have been received, Save the shipment.
  3. Highlight all specimens and select Transfer to Batch from the Tools menu. The Shipment Transfer dialog will open.
  4. If you want to create a new Data Entry batch to commit these specimens with, select the New Batch option, otherwise enter an existing Batch ID to add specimens to an existing batch.
  5. After selecting the batch, you may also select from the following two checkbox options:
    • Automatically open the Data Entry Batch Editor – The specified new or existing Data Entry batch will open for editing.
    • Save and Close Shipment Automatically after Transfer – The Shipment batch will be saved and closed.
  6. Select OK.
  7. Open the Data Entry batch, if not already open. Use the Assign BSI IDs and Assign Locations tools to generate unique identifying numbers to the specimens and specify their storage locations.
  8. Save the batch, then select Check Level 1 & 2 Errors from the Tools menu. If any errors exist, correct them.
  9. Select Commit.

Entering Data via the Locations Manager

The right mouse button (RMB) Add Specimen option, available in the Locations module, allows users to add new specimen data to the inventory. When using this option, specimens are added with highlighted locations reserved for them. Users must have permission to add specimens.

To add a new specimen via Locations:

  1. Highlight one or more empty locations.  If occupied locations and empty locations are highlighted, only the empty locations will be available in the Data Entry Editor.  If only occupied locations are highlighted, Add Specimen will not be available on the RMB menu.
  2. Right-click on the selection and open the RMB menu.
  3. Select Add Specimen.
  4. A new Data Entry editor will open, containing the same number of rows as the number of empty locations highlighted.
    • For single specimens only, users have the option to use a data entry form or table. The data entry editor format can be set using Data Entry user preferences.
  5. Add specimen data to the batch.  The location information is already filled in.
  6. When all of the desired data has been entered and the batch is free of errors, commit the batch.
To add new specimens that are similar to existing specimens, the user can use the RMB to select a specimen from any table in the system and select Copy Specimens. The specimen must have a BSI ID. The user can then select any empty space in the Locations manager and right click to select the option to Add Copied Specimens Here. The pasted specimen's BSI ID will become the next available ID after the copied specimen's BSI ID.