Friday, October 5, 2012

Is it too late to submit data for inclusion in the databank?

Short answer: No

Slightly longer answer: We are still accepting data submissions for inclusion in the first version release until November 30th. At that point we shall provide an updated beta release version with any new data sources that have been received. Even then, there is no end-point for submissions that can be included in subsequent version releases. There is also no point at which we are likely to have ‘too much’ data so any data is useful.

More detail:

Data submissions can range from a single station to large consolidated holdings. Because the merge program attempts to discriminate between different sources, so long as sufficiently accurate geo-location metadata are provided (latitude, longitude, station name and elevation) it should be able to cope with a degree of information redundancy. It is therefore not necessary to ascertain first whether a version of each candidate station record already exists. Particularly if the submission has greater provenance (a link to the original in hard copy / image form, better station metadata including a history of observing practices and instrument changes etc.) it will likely be given priority.  So, do not worry as to whether the data already exists in the Stage 2 holdings unless it is simply a duplicate resubmission of a pre-existing holding (obviously).

If you need help in negotiating release of data to the databank there exist a boilerplate letter of support and a certificate of appreciation (the latter on request). Further, case specific, help can be provided by Databank Working Group members upon request.

Once you have the data we have tried to make its submission as easy as possible. There are submission guidelines which provide the details of what data is required and how to submit. We do not require that data be converted from whatever the native digital format is, in fact we prefer you not to as this may yield errors that are undetectable.  You do, however, need to describe the format sufficiently that a conversion script can be written to convert it to stage 2.

Although the first Stage 3 merged release consists of solely monthly resolution temperature data we strongly encourage submission of data on timescales at one or more of sub-daily, daily and monthly resolution and for multiple meteorological elements and not just temperatures. It is hoped that future releases will include such shorter timescales and additional meteorological elements to just temperature. These will be useful for many scientists and end-users beyond the more restricted aims of the International Surface Temperature Initiative.

Good luck and thanks

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