NOTICE -- The LBA-ECO Project website is no longer being supported.  This archive is a snapshot, as it existed in 2013, of the LBA-ECO website, maintained by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and now archived at the ORNL DAAC.  Links to external websites may be inactive. Final data products from the LBA project can be found at the ORNL DAAC.
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Topics covered:
Registering/Updating Metadata

Transfering Data to CPTEC
Preparing Final Data & Documentation for Archive (*LBA-ECO required*)
Accessing Data

Registering/Updating Metadata

1. What is meant by "Register/Update Metadata"?

Use the LBA Metadata Editor (LME) to create metadata files describing your data; these metadata files will then be searchable by Beija-flor, the LBA Search Engine.

2. At what point should I register my metadata?

Registration (the creation of a metadata file) may take place before, during or shortly after data collection and should be updated as your data matures.

3. Do I need a user account to register metadata?

LME can be accessed by anyone as a guest, but to create a file that can be searched by Beija-flor, you must have a user account and password.

4. When I register my metadata, am I automatically making my data accessible? 

No. Unless you also put your data on-line and place the data access URL in your metadata, Beija-flor users will only have access to your metadata, not your data.

5. What if I am still processing my data after one year? 

It is recognized that some types of data require longer processing times than others. However, all data must be submitted to CPTEC for archive at one year, regardless of data maturity status. We recommend that you note in your metadata when you expect the data to be released.

6. My data are proprietary or copyrighted. Do I have to make this data public? 

Contact the LBA DIS manager for waiver approval. All data, however, must have registered metadata regardless of accessibility restrictions.


Transfering Data to CPTEC

1. If I submit data to CPTEC, will it automatically be visible to the public?

 No, you instruct LBA DIS to archive it in a publicly accessible area.

2. How do I submit my data to CPTEC? 

Data should be directed to the LBA DIS Manager via FTP, CD,
email, or surface mail. Include data description; science team code; contact information; related metadata file, if applicable; and an indication whether the data are to be publicly accessible or restricted.

3. I've submitted preliminary data to CPTEC. May I continue to distribute the data from my home institution? 

Yes, it is understood that while your data are still being processed and QA'd, your copy will be the most current version, and the data access URL in the metadata may continue to point to your copy.

4. When do I need to submit final data sets? 

At this point, there is not a deadline associated with final data set submission.


Preparing Final Data and Documentation for Archive

1. I registered my metadata and sent my data to LBA DIS – haven’t I completed my data requirements?

a. No, but registering the metadata and sending preliminary data to LBA DIS completed the initial stages of the data maturation process. Submitting data to the ORNL DAAC for archive is the final step in the data maturation process of each LBA-ECO data set. This step does not occur until the data are complete and have been fully quality assured and documented. After a data set is archived at the ORNL DAAC, Project Office staff will send a copy of the final data and documentation to the LBA DIS for archive there as well.


2. What are the acceptable formats for archived data?

a. Preferred format for tabular data is comma-delimited ASCII files. There is no specific preferred format for image data or gridded GIS data, but it is best to use a public domain format and include the necessary projection files. Please avoid using proprietary formats if at all possible. Regardless of the format used, be sure to thoroughly document the format used.

3. My data are stored in a proprietary format. Can they be archived in this format? What are the acceptable formats?

a. Preferred format for tabular data is comma-delimited ASCII files. There is no specific preferred format for image data or gridded GIS data, but it is best to use a public domain format and include the necessary projection files(should this comment go in #2 also?). Avoid using proprietary formats if at all possible. Regardless of the format used, be sure to thoroughly document the format used.

4. My data are stored in Excel spreadsheets. Is that okay?

a. Comma-delimited ASCII files are preferred for the official archive copy of the data. Proprietary formats are to be avoided if at all possible; however, the excel spreadsheets can be included in the archive along with the ASCII version. Be sure to include in the documentation any formulas or calculations that are performed in the spreadsheet version of the data.

5. My Excel spreadsheets have embedded information and macros that will be lost if I convert them to delimited ASCII text files. How can I avoid losing these features of my data files?

a. Comma-delimited ASCII files are preferred for the official archive copy of the data. Proprietary formats are to be avoided if at all possible; however, the excel spreadsheets can be included in the archive along with the ASCII version, particularly if the spreadsheet contains macros and formulas that would be otherwise lost in an ASCII file of the data. Be sure to include in the documentation any formulas or calculations that are performed in the spreadsheet version of the data.

6. What is the difference between a data citation and a publication citation?

a. A publication citation is used to properly credit an author for his or her published literature. Similarly, a data set citation is needed to properly credit the data producer and the data publication source.
b. e.g. Author1, A.B., C. D.Author2, E. Author3, F.Author4, and G.H. Author5. 2006. Title of the data set. Available on-line [http://daac.ornl.gov] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA.

7. What is the format of a data set citation?

a. Author1, A.B., C. D.Author2, E. Author3, F.Author4, and G.H. Author5. 2006. Title of the data set. Available on-line [http://daac.ornl.gov] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA.
b. The data citation should be provided in the LME section: Data Access Information and metadata field: data_set_citation

8. How can I be sure that I will be properly credited for data downloaded from the ORNL DAAC system?

a. The requested data citation is stated clearly in the metadata associated with each data set and the data fair use policy is clearly visible on the data download page. Ultimately, it is the responsibility for the data user to abide by the data fair use policy and cite your data set properly.

9. My survey data are sensitive or proprietary -- how can I protect the identity of my survey participants?

a. Identifying personal information can be obscured at the individual level to protect the identity of survey participants. Alternatively, data about individuals can be condensed and reported by classes or groups.

10. Ours is a modeling activity and we didn't produce any original data. Do we need to archive anything?

a. Users of the model should be provided the necessary data and information to run your model and reproduce your results:
b. Models should be fully documented providing the source and description of the input data set, the processes performed, the output data set, model code, and a model version clearly identified. The input data set should be properly cited, and a copy of the input data provided as well, unless the input data set is available from another data archive center. The modeled output should be provided, if feasible. If the size of the modeled output is too large, Project Office staff will work with you to find a workable alternative.

11. Ours is a synthesis activity using existing data collected during Phase 1 and/or Phase 2. Do we need to archive anything?

a. The synthesis of existing data sets will produce valuable new products. These value-added products should be fully documented and archived and the source of the original data must be properly cited, giving proper credit to the original data producers.

12. My data is ready for archive - what do I need to do?

a. Review the data archive checklist to make sure you’ve addressed all of the requirements. If you have done this, including completing the Data Set User’s Guide, send an email to stating that the data set is ready for archive and attach a copy of the Data Set User’s Guide.

13. I've already put a lot of thought into designing my data directory structure - can this same structure be used for my data at the ORNL DAAC?

a. Each data set will reside in its own directory in the archive and this directory will contain 2 subdirectories: one for data (/data) and one for supporting information (/comp). If your directory tree can fit logically within that framework, we can preserve your current directory structure.

14. What will be included in the archive related to my data set?

a. The actual data, the metadata included in the LME file, the data set User's Guide (produced using the LME), and any supplemental information you choose to include in the archive, e.g. read-me files; graphs, charts, tables; optional data files in non-preferred formats or files in Portuguese; abstracts of related publications, and any other supporting information.

15. How do I get my publications included in the publications database?

a. Send the bibliographic citation to lbaeco_pubs@mail.lbaeco.org
If you have the publication as a .pdf, send that as well.
b. Publications included in each team's Annual Progress Report are added to the publications database as well.

16. What about getting my final data to LBA DIS? Do I have to follow another set of guidelines and send data to them too?

a. No. After the archive of the data and documentation at the ORNL DAAC is complete, LBA-ECO Project Office staff will see that a copy of the final data set and supporting documentation is sent to LBA DIS for long-term archive.

17. My read-me files are written in Portuguese. Does all information related to my data have to be in English?

a. Yes. You must provide the Data Set User’s Guide in English. Also, data files and the header information contained within the data files must be in English. Any additional read-me files you provide along with your data must be in English. However, you are welcome to provide the information in Portuguese as well and this information can be included in the archive along with the English version.

18. I have provided readme files that address much of the information requested in the Data Set Documentation section of the LME? Must I also include the information in the LME?

a. Yes. The LME is the source for the Data Set User's Guide that is the primary data set document that will accompany the data when downloaded from the long-term archive. Whereas, Readme files are optional, the Data Set User's Guide is intended to be the stand-alone document that provides any and all information that will help a user to accurately import, use and understand the data.


Accessing Data

1. How can I find LBA data?

Click here to find sources of LBA data.

2. Do I need an account to use Beija-flor, the LBA data search engine? 

No, Beija-flor and the metadata contained in the Beija-flor database are open to the public. The actual data cannot be accessed unless the URL links are provided in the metadata.


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