Data and Metadata Requirements

In a recent Scientific and Institutional Peer Review Final Report to Alabama Center for Estuarine Studies (ACES) the following recommendations were made by the panel with regard to ACES data and metadata.

ďThe panel strongly recommends that all data collected by Center-funded projects be archived in a Web-accessible ACES database, along with federal geospatial data-compliant metadata. The emphasis placed by the Centerís QA Officer on data quality and documentation of metadata is extremely valuable in this regard, and for providing a foundation (or legacy) of data for future studies or comparative surveys that might assess the effects of human-induced changes within the system.Ē

With these comments in mind, ACES participants must recognize their responsibility to document, retain, share and publish data collected through ACES projects in a timely manner. The centerís data management component was created to assist PIís in the submission of data and metadata to the Data Base Administrator for public access through the ACES Web site. The first step toward these goals is to establish a method of documenting project data as a mater of routine. One metadata tool in particular, Metadata Enterprise Resource Management Aid (MERMAid), is recommended for itís ease of use, available training options and continuing support. For more information please visit the MERMAid web site at

ACES PIís will be required to submit metadata records in a format that can be published on the ACES Web site. To expedite this process MERMAid allows managers to export their metadata records in HTML format. These files can be uploaded by the data manager directly to the ACES Web site for public access. MERMAid workshops will be held this fall for all ACES PIís/Co PIís and their field and lab assistants. Please note that if you have entered your metadata into Cast-Net, the data can easily be converted (moved) to MERMAid. Watch for notices about the MERMAid workshops on the ACES Web site.

Data products, unprocessed and processed, should be delivered to the data manager, Lei Hu, via email or on magnetic media by conventional mail at the time of final report submission. Please review the Data and Metadata Requirement page on the ACES Web site: Feel free to contact Lei Hu at 251-861-7508 or, if you have any questions regarding data or metadata submission.

Metadata Information:

--Metadata describe the content, quality, condition, and other characteristics of data. Metadata help a person to locate and understand data.

Creating metadata in the data development process is crucial and can only be written by the scientists or analysts who are most familiar with the data. Investigators will document data products with metadata content that is explicit and descriptive, documenting the sources and procedures used. Metadata elements include, but are not limited to:

    • Data set information
    • Investigator information
    • Objectives and Introduction
    • Data acquisition and processing methods
    • Data manipulations
    • Data description
    • Specific geographic and spatial information
    • Quality control/quality assurance information

For more information about creating useful metadata, refer to the Federal Geographic Data Committee Web site:

Other Metadata information:

Data Transfer Information:

Required reports and data products, metadata, etc. should be transferred in one or more of the following formats in addition to any hardcopy requirements.

Acceptable formats

Acceptable Media for Transfer

Microsoft Access
Microsoft Excel
Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft Word
ArcView GIS
Adobe Acrobat PDF
E-mail files to Data Manager or
send on:
3.5 inch floppy
Iomega 100 or 250MB Zip

Top Of Page
University of South Alabama Home Page
Last updated:
Monday, February 14, 2005
If you have questions or comments about this web page, please e-mail the
For Metadata and Data Set questions or comments, please e-mail the Data Manager