Academic hospitals and medical schools with research tissue repositories often derive many of their internal human specimen acquisitions from their site's surgical pathology service. Typically, such acquisitions come from appropriately consented tissue discards sampled from surgical resections. Because the practice of surgical pathology has patient care as its primary mission, competing needs for tissue inevitably arise, with the requirement to preserve adequate tissue for clinical diagnosis being paramount. A set of best-practice gross pathology guidelines are summarized here, focused on the decision for tissue banking at the time specimens are macroscopically evaluated. These reflect our collective experience at Washington University School of Medicine, and are written from the point of view of our site biorepository. The involvement of trained pathology personnel in such procurements is very important. These guidelines reflect both good surgical pathology practice (including the pathologic features characteristic of various anatomic sites) and the typical objectives of research biorepositories. The guidelines should be helpful to tissue bank directors, and others charged with the procurement of tissues for general research purposes. We believe that appreciation of these principles will facilitate the partnership between surgical pathologists and biorepository directors, and promote both good patient care and strategic, value-added banking procurements.