TitleBodyTechnical Expertise RequiredCostAdditional Information
Create a data dictionary

A data dictionary provides a detailed description for each element or variable in your dataset and data model. Data dictionaries are used to document important and useful information such as a descriptive name, the data type, allowed values, units, and text description. A data dictionary provides a concise guide to understanding and using the data.

Document taxonomic information

Identification of any species represented in the data set should be as complete as possible.

  • Use a standard taxonomy whenever possible
  • Full taxonomic tree to most specific level available
  • Source of taxonomy should accompany taxonomic tree (if available)
  • References used for taxonomic identification should be provided, if appropriate (e.g. technical document, journal article, book, database, person, etc.)

Examples of standardized identification systems:

  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (http://www.itis.gov/)
  • Species 2000 (http://www.sp2000.org/)
  • USDA Plants (http://plants.usda.gov/index.html)
  • Global Biodiversity Information Facility (http://www.gbif.org/informatics/name-services/using-names-data/)