ORNL DAAC Curation Process
The ORNL DAAC primarily archives NASA-funded research data that are pertinent to the biogeochemical community. These data must be organized in well-formatted, described, and documented data sets. Normally the data have also been used in a peer-reviewed publication prior to archival.
What the ORNL DAAC provides
The data set package released will consist of data files, a document describing the data and how it is to be used and cited, supplemental information to help understand and use the data. The DAAC also provides tools to assist in discovering, visualizing, subsetting, and accessing the data.
What the ORNL DAAC does with your data
Now that you have collected and managed your data, it is time to submit the data to the ORNL DAAC. The first step is an evaluation of the data by the DAAC, UWG, and ESDIS, to ensure that it is appropriate and relevant to the ORNL DAAC. If it is, the DAAC will provide access to a semi-automated system for the following steps in curation and release. Depending on the complexity of the data and the existing workload at the ORNL DAAC, this process can take 2 to 4 months.
The data provider completes the Submit Data interest form and any related questions from the ORNL DAAC staff. After review, the DAAC will reply with archival decision.
The data provider submits the complete data and model products, including description documents and supplemental files, using the ORNL DAAC upload area. Data providers also answer questions about the data set.
What a data set contains
A data set contains data that typically share the same investigator(s) and methods over possibly several sites or years.
Save your data in a well organized file structure using stable file formats and descriptive files names
Document(s) describing data
Provide detailed documentation to assist future workers using your data set.
Any files that are associated with your data set should be included. Examples of supplemental material include published papers, field notes, a list of related data sets, or even an archived website.
Answers to data provider questions
You will be asked to fill out a short online form to help us better understand your data set.
The questions can be previewed here: Data Provider Questions.
DAAC staff review the submitted data using our quality assurance checklist.
- Files received as sent
- Documentation describes files
- Variables and units defined
- File content is consistent
- Parameter values are physically reasonable
DAAC staff prepare metadata for discovery and compile comprehensive documentation that is relevant for use 20 years from now. ORNL DAAC also generates citation and registers DOI for the data set.
Release of archived data product
- DAAC releases data product (data files, metadata, documentation) and distributes metadata to NASA EOSDIS clearing house and other relevant data catalogues
- Provide tools to explore, access, and extract data
- Advertise data through email, social media, and DAAC website
Over the longer term, the ORNL DAAC also
- Provides long-term, secure archiving (back-up and recovery)
- Addresses user questions, and serve as a buffer between users and data contributors
- Provides usage statistics and data citation statistics
More details of our Data Management Best Practices can be found in Best Practices for Preparing Environmental Data Sets to Share and Archive, published by ORNL DAAC in 2010, and Environmental Data Management Best Practices Part 1 Tabular Data and Part 2 Geospatial Data, from the NASA Earthdata webinar series and presented by ORNL DAAC staff (hosted on YouTube).