General guide to data submission

Data delivery mechanisms

The following delivery choices are available (in order of our preference)

  1. By email to the GEOTRACES Data Assembly Centre team. Please note that there is currently a limit of 5 MB for single email transfers.
  2. Data can be left on an accessible ftp site for the GEOTRACES Data Assembly Centre (GDAC) to collect. Please provide the GDAC with collection details.

Data file format and file naming

Virtually any format can be used, providing software to read it is readily available or that it is described in sufficient detail for us to write the software. In all cases, we require an explanation of how the format has been used so that we can understand what we have been given. Electronic submission may be eased by using a WinZip compatible compression routine. Statistical information, such as a list of file names supplied and their sizes or even the range of values for each parameter will help us ingest your data correctly.

As we use UNIX systems we would appreciate it if filenames did not include embedded blanks. Please replace these with underscores (e.g. ‘my_file’ instead of ‘my file’).

Parameter descriptions

Please pay particular attention to providing us with clear descriptions of the parameters that you have sent to us, including clear column headings and the units used. Indicate which parameters are directly measured and which are derived from a combination of measurements. For derived measurements, please include the formulae used by leaving them in an Microsoft Excel spreadsheet cell, including them in an accompanying document or providing a literature reference.

Accompanying metadata

GEOTRACES endeavour to incorporate all data submitted into the relational database systems for the purpose of long term viability and future access. This requires the data set to be accompanied by key data set information (metadata). Detailed metadata collation guidelines for specific types of data are either available or under development to assist those involved in the collection, processing, quality control and exchange of those data types.

A summary checklist is provided below. For all types of data we require information about

This information may be supplied in any standard document format (e.g. Microsoft Word or text) and will be incorporated into either specific metadata fields in our database or as comments in the documentation we will prepare to accompany your data.

More on data submission.