The term research "biobank" is one of multiple names (e.g., bioresource, biorepository,) used to designate an entity that receives, collects, processes, stores, and/or distributes biospecimens or other biospecimen-related products (e.g., data) to support research. There are multiple organizational models of biobanking used by bioresources, but the primary goal of all bioresources should not be simply to collect biospecimens, but ultimately to distribute almost all collected biospecimens and/or data to support scientific research; bioresources should serve as "biodistributors" rather than "biovaults." The appropriate choice of model is the first step in ensuring optimal biospecimen utilization by a bioresource. This article discusses some of the different models that may be used alone or in combination by a bioresource providing biospecimens for research; it describes the factors affecting the choice of the most appropriate model or models, the advantages and disadvantages of the various models, and a discussion of the impact of the choice of the model on biospecimen utilization. Frequently, problems with biospecimen utilization are not caused by any single model, but rather a mismatch between the choice of model and goals of the bioresource, and/or problems with the subsequent design, goals, operations, and management of the bioresource after a model is selected.