Documentation Guidelines

This page provides general SeaBASS documentation and guidelines, focusing primarily on how submissions should incorporate free-form information in external documents. SeaBASS submissions have two general types of metadata, 1) self-contained metadata, e.g., machine-readable metadata headers, and text comments and 2) external documents and calibration files. Note that these sorts of files are not expected to be in SeaBASS file format and thus don't get scanned with FCHECK.


1) Self-contained information within SeaBASS Data Files

  1. /documents (REQUIRED, a comma-separated list of the file name(s) of all external documentation)
  2. /calibration_files (REQUIRED, a comma-separated list of the file name(s) of all of external calibration files)
  3. Comments (OPTIONAL, free-form text information may be included in the header. Comment lines must start with an exclamation point. e.g., ! This is a comment. Comments are the only headers allowed to contain whitespace)

2) External Documents and Calibration Files (bundled together in a folder called "documents" for every cruise)

  1. Submitted documents should include written report(s) documenting all your methods
    • Explain all methods, including those related to deployment, sampling, and analysis. Important instrument settings and calibration information must also be retained for traceability. Standalone documentation should be organized into a "documents" directory that is part of your submission. In your data files, reference the relevant external files via the "/documents" metadata headers
    • Remember to list the names of these files in the /documents header
    • What file formats are preferred?

      • Plain text (.txt) or PDF (.pdf)

  2. Documents must also include Data Submission Special Requirements (mandatory checklists for certain types of submissions that need to be added to your submitted documents)
    • Consult the Data Submission Special Requirements page to see if it includes special guidelines for the types of measurements you wish to submit. The page includes required checklists, required special metadata headers, and example data files. Check back periodically, as new content is added to that page over time to include additional data types and other updates
    • These checklists are new to the community as of early 2020. The SeaBASS team welcomes feedback if you have suggestions for improving specific forms, and is interested to hear if you have requests for additional information or topics

    • Remember to list the names of these files in the /documents header
  3. Calibration files (if applicable) should be organized and submitted within the "documents" directory (organize subfolder(s) as needed)
    • Remember to list all these file names in the /calibration_files header
    • What file formats are allowed?
      • Calibration files and other special files should usually be uploaded in their native format


Table of Contents

Submission Special Requirements Page

Certain types of SeaBASS data submissions have special requirements, such as conditionally required metadata headers, or extra metadata documentation in the form of "checklist" documents. These requirements are listed on the Data Submission Special Requirements page, sorted by data types. Examples submissions are also provided. More data types will be added to that page in the future. Check back periodically, as new content is added to that page over time to include additional data types and other updates.
View Data Submission Special Requirements

Calibration/Instrument Reports

Every cruise submitted to SeaBASS is required to be accompanied by a calibration/instrument report. The calibration report should include enough information so that the reader can understand how raw instrument measurements were collected and processed into your reported values. The report should describe methods and key settings used to acquire data in the field, calibration equations and values, how the instruments were calibrated, and what types of corrections or data analysis were applied to create your reported values. Your report may also include references to standard protocols and techniques. All these details will allow for more accurate comparisons between datasets, error propagation and/or alternate analysis methods.
Scientific instruments come in many sizes and shapes and so will these reports. This template outlines information that should be included, although not all categories suggested here will be appropriate for every type of instrument.


Calibration/Instrument Report Examples

Here are several examples of reports created for various instruments:


Please refer to the Data Submission Special Requirements for additional examples
Last edited by Chris Proctor on 2021-11-19
Created by Chris Proctor on 2012-08-29