Tips and Tricks

The “Dos and Don’ts” from the previous section also apply to legacy data. The following apply as well:

Archived reports are valuable

For legacy data, there will likely be a limited source of information in documents produced during data collection, processing, or the reporting of results. These documents are valuable resources and will need to be searched for metadata relevant to the data set. However, if you find planning documents that outline planned data collection, keep in mind that these represent the planned collection – actual collection will likely be different.

Different procedures that quantify the same data type

In a research setting (e.g., a chemistry or biology lab, or instrumentation development shop), you should be looking for different procedures that quantify the same data type. For example, procedure A and procedure B (or instrument A and instrument B) may both be used to measure values for a single data type. Both procedures (or instruments) measure the same parameter, and as such, the name associated with the data from both procedures should be the same.

However, the information detailing the different procedures must be documented and maintained with the data value. Thus, a separate vocabulary detailing the procedures should be created. This vocabulary is effectively an instrumentation/procedure vocabulary that notes for each data type the procedures used to determine the data value.

Have a specific question about vocabularies? Ask MMI!

Suggested Citation

Isenor, A. 2009. "Tips and Tricks." In The MMI Guides: Navigating the World of Marine Metadata. Accessed July 16, 2020.