Exercise 1

Identifying Datasets

Learning objectives:

  • To understand the nature of science datasets, colletctions, and repositories.
  • To learn how to locate and identify attributes of science datasets, collections, and repositories.

How to proceed:
This exercise has two steps: the first step is to identify information about one repository and the second to identify information about one dataset.

Step 1:

  • Use one of the three links from Date Resources on the Web in WebDT as the start point to identify one data repository. You may choose any disciplinary or field that you are familiar with or interested in.
  • Once you are in the data repository you selected, observe the repository environment and try to identify:
    • Data repository ownership and maintenance authority
    • Description of the repository: time and space coverage of data content, data collection methods, dataset list, and so forth
    • Dataset retrieval: search interface, search options, result delivery methods, etc.
  • Create a table with two columns (as shown below) to present the information you identified abou the repository:

Table 1. Information about data repository.

Information category Information identified
Maintenance authority USGS
Time coverage 1920-present

Step 2:

  • From the repository, you chose for Step 1, choose one dataset and repeat the same procedures as described in Step1. Note that the description categories may vary from those of repositories.
  • Create a table with two columns as shown in Table 1 to present the information you identified about the dataset you chose.
Hand in the hard copy on class:

  1. two tables from Step 1 and Step 2,
  2. a short paragraph describing your experience (challenges, frustrations, or ideas) in doing this exercise or lessons learned from this exercise.