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Low levels of public trust in biobanks are perceived to be a deterrent to participation and a threat to their sustainability. Acting in a "trustworthy" manner is seen to be one approach to ensuring public trust in biobanks. Striving to improve public trust in biobanks and prioritizing the need for institutional trustworthiness are both vital endeavors. However, there has been little discussion in the context of biobanking about the meaning of these two concepts, and the relationship between them. In this article, we argue that it is important to examine this, to ensure clarity around their meaning, as well as their relationship with each other as they apply to biobanking. We conclude by making a series of recommendations for biobanks.

Original publication




Journal article


Biopreservation and biobanking

Publication Date



The Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.