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