Data documentation is necessary for for all data files to be published via the Coweeta LTER Data Catalog and the LTER Network Data Catalog. The easiest way to document data is with a data submission form. A data submission form can be downloaded from several places on this website, including here. The file is a self-contained spreadsheet designed for documenting both the overall data set and the variables associated with each data file. With this spreadsheet, users can submit dataset metadata, metadata on variables, and the data themselves in a single file. The form itself includes directions for completion. The remainder of this document provides some general guidelines and definitions for using the form and understanding data documentation and submission.
Data Sets, Data Tables, and Data Set Files
A data set is defined as any collection of observations that are documented by the same variables and for which variables were collected that were recorded using the same methods, instrumentation, and observational techniques. Data sets may or may not be collected in the same geographic location or at the same time, but data sets should all be based on the same techniques. Please fill out one copy of the form for each data table you are submitting. If the data sets are part of a related set of tables, fill out one complete copy of the form, then make copies of the file. Leave the description changing only the Raw Data and Data Table worksheets for each remaining table. When all forms are complete, there will be as many data set files as there are data tables.
Some researchers may need to submit non-tabular data, such as vector or raster GIS files, or relational databases. Please contact the Information Manager to discuss these file submissions.
Users who use the GCE Data Toolbox for managing data need only submit a complete, standard GCE Data Toolbox .mat file, with all necessary metadata completed. A copy of the data submission form is not required.