Explanation of Metadata
An important part of data collection is creating the associated data documentation or metadata. Metadata should explain all aspects of data from the research objectives to the data QA/QC and should be created as each data set is processed.
The National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) sites are required to submit one metadata file for each of their sampling programs per year in highly standardized formats. For example, NERR sites actively collect water quality, meteorological and nutrient data as part of the System-wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) therefore they will generate and submit three metadata files to the CDMO to accompany their data submission for that year.
Strict QA/QC standards are adhered to in order to ensure standardization and data quality. Data should not be used without referring to the associated metadata first.
Metadata includes the Principal Investigator's (PI) contact information, information about how the data were collected and QA/QC'd by the NERR, the research objectives and research methods, information about each sampling location, information about the sensors used to collect the data, explanations about any anomalous (suspect), deleted or missing data and any other remarks about the data set that would be valuable to the user in order to interpret and use the data.
A link to the appropriate metadata will be provided when querying the data
from the Get Data menu or you can go directly to the metadata file through
the Get Data>Yearly Files menu. Simply navigate to the reserve of interest, choose the type of data you are interested in (water quality, meteorological or nutrient) then open the folder named "metadata".
To learn more about the water quality, meteorological and nutrient parameters and units collected for the System-wide Monitoring Program, visit the parameter explanation page at http://cdmo.baruch.sc.edu/data/parameters.cfm.
Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions regarding the data or the QAQC process used.