Australian researchers will soon have access to a wealth of scientific data collected by Scientific Collections International (SciColl) following the signing of a new agreement.

Minister for Science and Research, Senator Don Farrell, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SciColl following a visit to the South Australian Museam.

"Scientific collections are fundamental for research and education. Greater use of global scientific collections by researchers encourages interdisciplinary research into the major global challenges, like climate change, infectious diseases, food security and human migrations,” Senator Farrell said.

"Securing Australia's participation in SciColl has ensured that Australian scientists and researchers have open access to wider sources of data from international scientific collections including plants, animals, microbes, fossils, human artefacts, ancient DNA, sediment cores, museums and herbaria, and bio-medical samples."

The MOU commits Australia to membership of SciColl across all its disciplines for three years.

Senator Farrell said Australia's participation would open doors for researchers, including those at the South Australian Museum.

"For example, European settlement in Australia resulted in many specimens of native plants and animals being sent to collections in Great Britain and Europe, and these specimens are an invaluable source of genetic material unable to be readily sourced within Australia."