DASH Repository
 

DASH Repository Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


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The FAQ contains the following sections:


Who will assist me in updating or submitting data?

The DASH Repository is built on a self-publishing model. This document is the first place to get assistance. If further help is needed, the DASH Repository Community Support Team is here to assist data providers with both data and metadata submission needs. Data providers can contact DASH Repository Support by emailing datahelp@ucar.edu

What is the Data Use Policy?

The DASH Repository Data Use Policy can be found here: Data Use Policy.

How do I Sign In?

  1. Click the 'Sign In' link in the upper right hand corner of the webpage.
  2. Enter your username and password from Registration.
  3. Click the 'Sign In' button.

Add Data Files to a Dataset

Data providers should follow these steps to add new data files to an existing dataset:

  1. If you haven't already, Sign In to the website.
  2. Click the 'Workspace' link at the top of the web page to view your datasets.
  3. Click the dataset's link to show options for the desired dataset.
  4. Click the "Manage Files" link under the dataset to which you would like to add files.
  5. Click the 'Upload Files' button.
  6. Select the data files you wish to upload using "Select Files".
  7. In most recent web browsers, it is possible to select several files at once.
  8. Click the 'Start Upload' button.

Note that some older web browsers will not support the selection of multiple files at once. For web browsers that do not support this feature, it is still possible to use the "File Upload" web page from Step 6.

File Format Recommendations

  1. The DASH Repository highly recommends the use of open specification formats that are standard and widely accepted by the community of interest.
    • Examples of commonly used file formats that are encouraged include: GRIB, HDF, ICARTT, netCDF, ASCII, etc. Other common, open specification packaging formats, such as ZIP and TAR, etc., could also be used to deposit collections of files and their associated metadata. Descriptions of these file formats can be found under the "File Types, Processing, Analysis, Visualization" section of DASH's Software and Tools page.
  2. Failure to use an open or a non-proprietary format jeopardizes the public use and long-term preservation of the data. The DASH Repository staff are not responsible for assisting users with proprietary data format access challenges or translating non-standard formats to community standards at the time of data deposit.

Update Data Files for a Dataset

Sometimes data files change and need to be updated. To stop accidental overwriting of previously uploaded data files, it is necessary to first delete the out-dated version of a data file. Then the new updated data file may be uploaded.

Special Note: files that are deleted from the website cannot be restored; they are permanently removed.

The following steps describe how a data provider can update one or more data files:

  1. If you haven't already, Sign In to the website.
  2. Click the 'Workspace' link at the top of the web page to view your datasets.
  3. Click the dataset's link to show options for the desired dataset.
  4. Click the "Manage Files" tab under the dataset to which you would like to add files.
  5. Click the type of file you would like to delete.
  6. Click the 'Delete' link for the file that needs to be updated.
  7. You can also 'Rename' or 'Move' a file to another type.
  8. Click the 'Confirm Delete' button.
  9. Repeat for all files being updated.
  10. Click the 'Upload Files' link.
  11. Select the data files you wish to upload.
  12. Note, you may select several files at once.
  13. Click the 'Upload Files' button.

Note that some older web browsers will not support the selection of multiple files at once. For web browsers that do not support this feature, it is still possible to use the "File Upload" web page from Step 8.

Adding Responsible Parties (Contacts) to a Dataset

Responsible Parties (also known as Contacts) are those who contribute to a dataset. The following steps describe how to add a Responsible Party reference to a Dataset:

  1. If you haven't already, Sign In to the website.
  2. Click the 'Workspace' link at the top of the web page to view your datasets.
  3. Click the dataset's link to show options for the desired dataset.
  4. Click the Edit Metadata tab.
  5. Click the "Add/Edit Responsible Parties" link.
  6. Click the 'Add New Responsible Party' link.
  7. Enter the required form fields. If the Individual Name already exists, you may begin typing in the field and a select list of names containing those characters will appear for selection. Click on the desired name.
  8. You may also enter a new name.
  9. Optionally, enter email address and organization name.
  10. Click the 'Add Responsible Party' button.
  11. Responsible parties may also be ordered. Click the "Order Responsible Parties" link.
  12. Click and hold on a name, move to a new position, then release (drag and drop).
  13. Click the 'Save' button.

Responsible Party Individual Names should be in the following format: first_name (optional) middle_initial. last_name

Examples:

  • Joe Smith
  • Joe R. Smith

Responsible Party FAQ

What is a Responsible Party?

A responsible party is a person or organization which serves as a contact for a Project or Dataset.

Do I need to enter a Responsible Party for every Role listed?

No. Author is the most important Role to enter. It is recommended that you fill in as many of the other Roles as you can for metadata completeness.

What are the definitions of the listed Roles?

The list of Roles comes from the ISO 19115 Metadata Definition and the Roles have the following meanings:

Author
Party who authored the resource.
Principal Investigator
Key party responsible for gathering information and conducting research.
Collaborating Principal Investigator
A PI collaboration on the project from another institution and not directly funded by the project award.
CO Principal Investigator
Another project PI, who is not the Lead PI.
Resource Provider
Party that supplies the resource.
Custodian
Party that accepts accountability and responsibility for the data and ensures appropriate care and maintenance of the resource.
Owner
Party that owns the resource.
User
Party that uses the resource.
Distributor
Party that distributes the resource.
Originator
Party that created the resource.
Point of Contact
Party that can be contacted for acquiring knowledge about or acquisition of the resource.
Processor
Party that has processed the data in a manner such that the resource has been modified.
Publisher
Party that published the resource.

Add Related Links to a Dataset

  1. If you haven't already, Sign In to the website.
  2. Click the 'Workspace' link at the top of the web page to view your datasets.
  3. Click the dataset's link to show options for the desired dataset.
  4. Click the Edit Metadata tab.
  5. Click the 'Add/Edit Related Links' link.
  6. Click the 'Add New Related Link' link.
  7. Enter the required form fields.
  8. Click the 'Add Related Link' button.
  9. A related link can also be edited or deleted by clicking the 'Edit' or 'Delete' link next to each related link.

Metadata Field Definitions

Metadata Fields - definitions and descriptions for each metadata field.

Appendix A: Creating and Submitting Data Documentation

The ‘readme’ file is a critical part of dataset documentation. It should contain enough information for a researcher who is unfamiliar with the project under which the data were acquired to use the dataset. It can begin with the same summary paragraph that is used in the metadata. The following are headings and a suggested outline for dataset documentation.

Dataset Title [This is also a metadata field.]

Please give your dataset a descriptive title that is less than 220 characters. It should be descriptive enough so that when a user is presented with a list of titles the general content of the dataset can be determined. For example, Aerosols would not be an adequate dataset title, but Aerosol characterization and snow chemistry at Terra Nova Bay would. So, if it can be done without making the title too long, include parameters measured, geographic location, instrument, investigator, project, and temporal coverage.

Examples:

  • National Solar Radiation Data Base Hourly Solar Data from Alaska, 1961-1990
  • Comprehensive Ocean - Atmosphere Dataset (COADS) LMRF Arctic Subset
  • Daily Precipitation Sums at Coastal and Island Russian Arctic Stations, 1940-1990

Summary Description [This is also a metadata field]

An ‘above the fold’ overview of everything someone might need to know to decide if the dataset is something they can use., about ½ page long at maximum.

This is a paragraph that describes the 'who, what, where, when, and why' of the dataset you are submitting with this metadata. Also, consider referring to published documents or web sites when more detail is required to describe a dataset adequately.

Contacts

Any relevant people, with their titles, and role.

Background

Any contextual information, for example, is the dataset part of a larger experiment or collection? Were certain aspects of the data acquisition procedure notable or unusual?

Detailed Data Description

Here are some example subcategories. Use what seems logical, putting yourself in the place of a researcher outside your field who would like to use your data.

  • Parameters
  • Data File Format
  • Sample Data Record
  • File Naming Convention
  • File Size
  • Spatial and Temporal Coverage and Resolution
  • Quality Assessment

Data Acquisition and Processing

Be as descriptive as possible, with references to instrument manuals, standards, or other works where applicable.

Examples:

  • Snow depth on sea ice measurements were acquired according to the method detailed in Chapter 3.1 (Strum, 2009) of Field Techniques for Sea Ice Research (Eicken, 2009)’.
  • Sea ice optics measurement sites were selected following the guidelines set forth in Chapter 3.6, Section 3.6.3, Methods and Protocols (Perovich, 2009) of Field Techniques for Sea Ice Research (Eicken, et al., eds., 2009).

References and Related Publications

These can include papers that use these data or like data. References that describe how measurements are taken are especially valuable.

Examples:

  • Strum, M., 2009. Field Techniques for Snow Observations on Sea Ice, in Field Techniques for Sea-Ice Research, Edited by H. Eicken et al., University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks, 588pp; ISBN 978-1-6022230-59-0,
  • Perovich, D. 2009. Sea Ice Optics Measurement , in Field Techniques for Sea-Ice Research, Edited by H. Eicken et al., University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks, 588pp; ISBN 978-1-6022230-59-0
  • H. Eicken, R. Gradinger, M. Salganek, K. Shirasawa, D. Perovich And M. Leppa¨ Ranta, eds. 2009. Field techniques for sea ice research. Fairbanks, AK, University of Alaska Press. 588pp. ISBN-10: 1-602230-59-5, ISBN-13: 978-1-602-23059-0,

Acknowledgments

As a rule, include the grant number or numbers and funding agencies that supported the work.

Document Information

Here name the document author(s), date and the date it was created or revised. Including the date is important.

If a revision was made, say when it was made and briefly, what the nature of the revision was. For example, ‘This readme documentation file was revised on 4 Feb 2011 to add information about a new instrument used to measure snow density, and about the resulting new additional data files.’

API Information

OAI-PMH API Documentation